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Dropping Crime Rate

January 04, 1999

It is interesting that the article "Crimes of Violence Hit 24-Year Low in Survey" (Dec. 28) fails to mention the various "three strikes" laws that are enforced throughout the country. The politicos love to mention the Brady law, screening laws for gun purchasers and other programs. Yet by all accounts, reduction in criminal activity can be attributed to the long-term removal of the criminal from the streets. Habitual criminals, gang members and others are being removed daily from our streets via the three-strike laws.

Most three-strike laws were enacted by the citizens at the ballot boxes. Most politicians were against them until there was a political advantage.

DENNIS MARTIN

Whittier

*

Gee, only 35 million crime victims in 1997, and a measly 18,210 murders! Impressive? Not really, not after one translates that last statistic from lifeless numbers into murderous violence committed against wives, husbands, lovers, friends, children and babies.

Who is failing us? Is it the politicians, parents, teachers, or is it the judges who release criminals back into society too soon?

Who is helping us do better? Improved policing, probably. Also an alert public made aware, by the media, of the dangers that lurk around each corner, dangers that cause us to lock our doors, purchase expensive car security systems and, for the wealthy, hire security patrols.

Perhaps the most amazing statistic of all was in the writer's last paragraph, "Just over 37% of all crimes were reported to police."

JOSEPH DENKER

Studio City

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