On just one Saturday night this month, three DePaul University students, all women, were robbed within half an hour on the school’s Lincoln Park campus in Chicago. One of the women was hit in the face by her assailant.
Across town, numerous armed robberies and murders were taking place at the same time. In all, Chicago reported at least 22 people shot and five killed over the weekend of Sept. 8, the Hill reports in an opinion piece. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has taken steps to address crime — to be specific, he has sued auto manufacturers for making catalytic converters too easy to steal. Progressives like Johnson fail to understand that their policies are fueling the crime wave, not fighting it. The evidence is clear: Crime is deterred by increasing the odds of prosecution. Increasing penalties has relatively little effect on crime rates; it’s really all about whether police and prosecutors will do their jobs.
That’s a legitimate question in areas where police are defunded and prosecutors are pursuing social justice instead of the rule of law. As the Justice Department itself points out, “It is the certainty of being caught that deters a person from committing crime, not the fear of being punished or the severity of the punishment. Effective policing that leads to swift and certain (but not necessarily severe) sanctions is a better deterrent than the threat of incarceration.” “DPD has been targeting violent street crime, specifically aggravated assaults (non-family violence), robberies and homicides,” CBS News reports. “In its first year of the program, violent crime in the city’s targeted hot spot grids dropped by 11 percent from the months before the program.”
And police presence works. As the Justice Department explains, “A criminal’s behavior is more likely to be influenced by seeing a police officer with handcuffs and a radio than by a new law increasing penalties.”
The progressive mindset, unfortunately, is making victims of criminals and criminals of victims. Hence the crime wave that is crashing upon our cities.