• Decrease in lead exposure in early childhood likely responsible for drop in crime rate

    Exposure to lead in the preschool years significantly increases the chance that children will be suspended or incarcerated during their school careers, according to new research. Conversely, a drop in exposure leads to less antisocial behavior and thus may well be a significant factor behind the drop in crime over the past few decades.

  • Immigration does not raise crime: Studies

    Immigration has no effect on crime, according to a comprehensive examination of fifty-one studies on the topic published between 1994 and 2014. The meta-analysis is the first on the relationship between immigration and crime. The reviewed studies most frequently found no relationship between immigration and crime. But among those that did find a correlation, it was 2.5 times more likely that immigration was linked to a reduction in crime than an increase.

  • Gun policy preferences across racial groups

    In the wake of recent mass shootings in Alexandria, Virginia, and elsewhere in the United States, a new study looks at factors that drive support for gun control among whites, Latinos, and blacks. The researchers found support for all forms of gun control is stronger among Latinos and blacks than whites. For example, 74 percent of blacks and 61 percent of Latinos, but only 55 percent of whites support an assault weapons ban.

  • How U.S. gun control compares to the rest of the world

    The shooting in Virginia that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, as well as the shooting in a San Francisco UPS facility that left four dead on the very same day, have generated – yet again – the standard set of responses in the wake of a mass shooting in the United States. The details of any such tragedy often emerge slowly, but a few points can be made. While deaths from mass shootings are a relatively small part of the overall homicidal violence in America, they are particularly wrenching. The problem is worse in the United States than in most other industrialized nations. And it is getting worse.

  • Cost savings of LA county crime reform initiative uncertain

    While a California ballot initiative reducing penalties for some criminal offenses promised to save local governments money, quantifying such savings will require significant changes in the way local agencies track workloads, according to a new report. The researchers concluded there was too little information available to create credible estimates of cost savings, despite there being evidence that many of the departments saw a drop in workloads.

  • Germany considering spying on children suspected of radicalization

    Germany is debating the question of whether the country’s intelligence and law-enforcement agencies should out under surveillance minors radicalized by extremist Muslim clerics. The law currently bars the country’s intelligence agencies to save any data on anyone under the age of 18 when the data was collected. Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann said it is “divorced from reality” to argue that investigators should look the other way when they learn about a radicalized minor.

  • White supremacists in U.S. inspired by ancient Nordic religion

    Inspired by an ancient heathen religion, known most commonly as Odinism, White supremacists carry out terrorist attacks on American soil. In at least six cases since 2001, professed Odinists have been declared guilty of plotting – or pulling off – domestic terrorism attacks. Today’s Odinists claim it is the only pure religion for white people, one not “mongrelized” by the Jewish prophet Jesus – thus making Odinism a perfect fit for a strain of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in America. “Now is a great time for Odinism because it fits into this historical narrative about European cultural greatness and a connection between whiteness and nationality,” says one expert.

  • Helping explosive detection canine teams across the U.S.

    Dogs are uniquely suited to sniffing out explosives – their sense of smell is more than a million times stronger than a human’s. Harnessing this natural ability to help law enforcement identify explosives requires specialized training and testing. Many detection canine teams, however, have limited access to critical training materials and limited time to establish rigorous training scenarios. DHS S&T’s Detection Canine Program has developed an initiative to support these needs for the nation’s more than 4,000 explosives detection canine teams.

  • How can we better protect crowds from terrorism?

    As the recent terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom painfully show, the odds are in favor of terrorists. All they have to do is succeed once, no matter how many times they try. For public safety professionals to be fully successful, they have to prevent 100 percent of the terror attempts. It’s a number to aspire to, but even the most experienced countries fighting terror – such as Israel and the U.K.– can’t measure up to this standard. These days, it’s necessary to consider any place where crowds congregate as vulnerable “soft targets” for the attackers. Community policing, though, could help. Community policing means using the community as a resource to minimize the spread of radical ideologies. By informing and supporting law enforcement through proactive partnerships, citizens can become key players and reliable partners in what some call “co-produced” public safety. These strategies won’t provide absolute security. But they will help minimize attacks and get us closer to that golden 100 percent standard.

  • Eight minutes on London Bridge: years of training led to lightning police response

    Eight minutes. That is the length of time from the start of the London Bridge attack to the three terrorists being killed by armed police. The Metropolitan Police Service is rightly being heralded for the speed, courage and effectiveness of its members in ending a terrorist atrocity. But the success in their response which prevented more people from being injured and killed is, besides individual bravery, about learning from previous terrorist attacks, training, and resources. The terrorism situation in the United Kingdom is clearly in flux. At the moment, the only pattern when it comes to terrorist attacks is that there is no pattern. Nonetheless, members of the police will continue to prepare to deal with worst-case scenarios, based on previous attacks, that they hope will never materialize.

  • The rising homegrown terror threat on the right

    Dealing effectively with far-right violence requires that we treat its manifestations as domestic terrorism. I consider domestic terrorism a more significant threat than the foreign-masterminded variety in part because it is more common in terms of the number of attacks on U.S. soil. The number of violent attacks on U.S. soil inspired by far-right ideology has spiked since the beginning of this century, rising from a yearly average of 70 attacks in the 1990s to a yearly average of more than 300 since 2001. I would argue that this trend reflects a deeper social change in American society. The iceberg model of political extremism, initially developed by Israeli political scientist Ehud Shprinzak, can illuminate these dynamics. Murders and other violent attacks perpetrated by U.S. far-right extremists compose the visible tip of an iceberg. The rest of this iceberg is under water and out of sight. It includes hundreds of attacks every year that damage property and intimidate communities. The significant growth in far-right violence in recent years is happening at the base of the iceberg. Changes in societal norms are usually reflected in behavioral changes. It is thus more than reasonable to suspect that extremist individuals engage in such activities because they sense that their views are enjoying growing social legitimacy and acceptance, which is emboldening them to act on their bigotry.

  • ICE-led anti-gang campaign nets 1,378 arrests nationwide

    A six-week nationwide gang operation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) concluded this weekend with 1,378 arrests across the United States – the largest gang surge conducted by HSI to date. The operation targeted gang members and associates involved in transnational criminal activity, including drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling and sex trafficking, murder and racketeering.

  • The security problems now facing Emmanuel Macron, France’s new president

    Emmanuel Macron emerged from one of the most brutal and eventful election campaigns in recent European history as France’s next president. Macron has promised to increase security spending, strengthen internal security services and introduce new centers to integrate people returning from fighting for so-called Islamic State. But solving the riddle of France’s recent security woes is going to require wide-ranging action and reform. This will present the new president with one of the biggest challenges of his presidency. Macron will need to tackle the chronic, daily, security issues France faces and overcome the institutional atrophy and social marginalization which are such powerful drivers of insecurity. There is a reason, however, that previous administrations have not tackled these issues: they are politically explosive and economically costly. In a presidency that is already looking crowded with political challenges and policy promises, where building a broad base of support without a party after the parliamentary elections in June looks difficult at best, there is a risk that these issues will be once again pushed to the back of the queue.

  • DHS launches new Office for victims of illegal immigrant crime

    Homeland Security secretary John Kelly the other day announced the official launch of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE). The VOICE office will assist victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens. ICE built the VOICE office in response to the Executive Order entitled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which directed DHS to create an office to support victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens.

  • Germany: Rise in crimes committed by foreigners -- and in crimes by right-wing extremists

    Earlier this week Germany’s Interior Ministry released the 2016 police crime statistics, including statistics of politically motivated crime. Compared to 2015, the number is up by 6.6 percent and has reached a new high. The main factor is the soaring number of politically motivated crimes by foreigners, which has risen by 66.5 percent to a total of 3,372 offenses. The backlash against the large number of migrants allowed into Germany in 2015 and 2016 manifests itself in crime statistics as well: While the number violent offenses motivated by left-wing extremism fell by 24.2 percent, the number of violent offences committed by right-wing extremists rose by 14.3 percent.