Pubdate: Thu, 22 Dec 2011
Source: Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2011 Associated Newspapers Ltd


The price of hard drugs found on the street may be able to forecast
the level of violent crime like larceny, assault and homicide in New
York City, according to a new study.

A study at the John Jay College, 'More Drugs, Less Crime,' in
Manhattan, states that the price of hard drugs for a particular year
can help determine the level of crime expected based on a user's ease
in acquiring.

'Essentially our paper could be boiled down to this: Most crime is
committed by drug users to finance the cost of drug use,' Travis
Wendel, the main author of the study explained according to the New
York World.

Violent crimes in New York have declined since 1990 when the year set
its record for the most homicides in the city ever reported. 

The price of hard drugs also declined during those years.

'Drugs got enormously cheaper so users didn't have to hit as many old
ladies over the head and steal their pocketbooks,' Mr Wendel said.

According to the New York World the cost of cocaine dropped by about
$60 from its high in the $400s per pure gram in the early 1980s.

By the early 2000s it was down to less than $200. 

Heroin also fell about $600 from its high in the $3,000s per pure gram 
in the 1980s.

In the 2000s, it cost about $2,000.

Differing from these drugs, the price of cannabis was found to have
risen 'significantly' over the same period of time, according to the

Despite the report's caution that their numbers are 'tantalizingly
close to the 95% confidence level,' in cause and effect, it 'does not
indicate that the price of heroin predicts future homicide rates.'

Yet according to the New York World, in 1994 two-thirds of men
arrested in the city for assault, robbery or larceny tested positive
for cocaine.

The study has yet to be peer reviewed but expects its publication next
year in Justice Quarterly. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.