COLUMBIA — Mayor Darwin Hindman and Councilwoman Laura Nauser talked earlier this week about an increase in youth crime and measures to minimize it.
But a closer look at the numbers shows that in 2001, 2002 and 2003, youth crime was significantly higher as a proportion of all crimes than it was in 2008.
Youths committed about 30 percent of crime in 2001, then slowly dropped for several years. Youth crime rates are now approaching statistics similar to those of 2004 – more than 24 percent.
One of the crimes that youth are disproportionately responsible for is larceny, or stealing. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, people 18 and younger make up 19.7 percent of Columbia’s population. However, they were responsible for 45 to 49 percent of larcenies each year between 2001 and 2009.