According to the Detroit News, robberies in Detroit are down 37 percent in the first half of 2014 as compared to statistics from the same time last year.
Furthermore, homes and businesses have experienced a reported 22 percent fewer break-ins.
Police Chief James Craig attributes these positive statistics in part to a new trend amongst residents, who are starting to take up arms to defend themselves.
As the Detroit News phrased it, “Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns.”
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Earlier in 2014, Craig advocated for private, responsible gun ownership. In May, he also stated that “responsible, good Americans have a right to protect themselves from an immediate threat to their life or to the life of another.”
“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” Craig said of the city’s decreasing crime statistics.
“I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed,” he continued.
The police chief noted that he “can’t say what specific percentage is caused” by citizens’ decisions to arm themselves, but added “there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect.”
Although these numbers signify a positive change, high crime rates remain a very real problem in Detroit. The strength of the Police Department, too, is a mere fraction of what it was a decade ago.
As Craig noted, criminals “automatically assume another criminal is carrying [a weapon]. I’m talking about criminals who are thinking of robbing a citizen; they’re less likely to do so if they think they might be armed.”