Why Are Incidents of Murder in New Orleans Higher than Those Ones Reported in New York – Statistics Project Example

The paper “Why Are Incidents of Murder in New Orleans Higher than Those Ones Reported in New York?" is an informative example of a statistics project on the law. There is an observable difference in terms of murder rate based on the data provided by the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) into two selected Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA M.S.A., and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA M.S.A. Murder rate in New Orleans ( which 25.5) is higher than in New York ( which is 5.0) by the year 2004.  Changes in the murder rate in both M.S.A can also be determined with reference to the UCR report per year. Comparative analysis showed that New Orleans murder rate continuously climbed up since the year 2000. New York’s murder rate however continuously dropped down since the year 1994 onwards. The difference in rates in both selected areas can be determined by the factors that may result in the pervasiveness of the crime such as employment rate, poverty, illegal activities, and policy management.
Murder, as defined by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR), is the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. It is punishable by law with imprisonment for several years or life sentence for more violent cases.  Penalties for murder vary in different degrees and assaults. Based on the UCR report, estimated numbers of murder has decreased in the U.S. by the year 2004 by 3.3 percent from the year 2003. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) 2004 report showed that MSA’s has 5.9 percent incident of murders per 100, 000 residents. Incidents of murder vary from one Metropolitan Statistical Area to another. This discussion aims to make a comparative analysis about incident and rate of murder into two metropolitan areas namely: New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA M.S.A. and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA M.S.A.
- Which area had more reported murder?
Based on the statistical report gathered by the UCR, incidents of murder in New Orleans is higher than the incidents of murder rate reported in New York.  Nicole Gelinas (2005), in his article “Who’s Killing New Orleans?” showed how murder has been so pervasive in New Orleans. Given the figure, he showed that New Orleans had the highest per capita city homicide rate in the United States. Imagine with 59 murder incidents per year per 100,000 citizens in comparison to New York City’s seven (Gelinas, 2005). New Orleans also had the highest murder rate this 2004 in all the metropolitan areas in the United States. On the contrary, New York has been considered as one of the safest places with low crime rate according to NYC Insider (2006). Crime and murder rate in New York declined since the year 1995 and has continuously decreased the following years.
- What were the murder rates for each of the two areas?
With respect to their population, New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA M.S.A. has a lower population as compared to New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA M.S.A. However, rate of murder is higher in New Orleans than that of New York. It can be clearly shown in the table below that based on UCR 2004 report there is a 15.5 difference in both areas in terms of the murder rate. There is a 25.5 rate reported murder rate in New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA M.S.A. as against 5.0 e rate in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA M.S.A.
We can see that base on the data shown above, New Orleans M.S.A has about 5 times higher murder rate than New York M.S.A. and this fact alarms New Orleans officials.
- Did the murder rates change over time in either area?
There are changes in murder rate that can be observed in both areas from the year 2000-2004. Evidently, the murder rate in New Orleans metropolitan areas climbed up from the year 2000 to 2004.  The year 2001 and 2000 has just about 0.4 percent difference in the murder rate, hiked up by 4.4 percent by the year 2002, and 1.1 percent by the year 2003, without any changes shown by the year 2004. Conclusively there is a murder rate increase that occurred in the New Orleans metropolitan area from the year 2001 to 2003 and no decrease in rate in 2004. It implies that there is no improvement in murder prevention in New Orleans in the year 2004. On the other hand, there is a gradual decrease in murder rate that can be observed in New York Metropolitan Areas. Starting from 7.8 by the year 2000, it has a gradual decrease of 2.8 percent by the year 2004. By that year there is only 5.0 murder rate reported. This is against 25.5 murder rate in New Orleans Metropolitan Areas. See the table below.
- What factors might explain the differences in murder rates?
There are many factors that should be considered in order to explain the differences in the murder rate between these two metropolitan areas. One of the considerations is the employment rate in both metropolitan areas. There is a higher unemployment rate reported in New Orleans than in New York. Unemployment is closely related to poverty and can be a reason for several crimes like murder. This is evident after the occurrence of Hurricane Katrina, wherein cases of murder again revived in New Orleans, resulting in the death of the victims of robbery-related murder (Gelinas, 2006). Another is the pervasiveness of illegal activities like drugs in the area. After the hurricane Katrina, many buildings and houses were abandoned in New Orleans and these places became the favorite den for the revived drug trade (Gelinas, 2005). This resulted in more drug-related killings. This could be prevented if there will be enough manpower to act immediately on against illegal activities like drug trafficking. However, authorities from the New Orleans Police District (NOPD) admitted that they do not have enough law enforcers to deploy for the necessary crime prevention (Johnson Jr., 2004). Deliberation is not even as organized as what we can see in the case of New York. 
New York M.S.A. has a decrease in murder rate by the year 2004 with only 5.0 percent murder rate, and positive changes seemed to be the result of the COMPSTAT (short for Computer Statistics or Comparative Statistics). COMPSTAT is an approach applied by the NYPD for crime reduction. They are using Geographic Information Systems to trace crimes, detect trends or crime patterns, and identify it. Before the year 1994, N.Y. can be noted with high murder rate (murder rate is 13.3 per 100, 000 of the population, 1993 UCR report), and changes occurred by the succeeding years since COMPSTAT has been introduced. It has been remarked that New York seemed to know how to police its city (Bratton, Andrews, 1999) and has acquired an ability to enforce the law more properly by means of computer mapping crime rates for the needed police response, patrol activity, and arrest. Mapping of crimes make it easy for police departments, police executives and law enforcers to see what areas need most of the police action.