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Safety in the U.S.

Hollywood movies and world news often show the U.S. as a violent nation, but what’s the truth? We share the facts, so you know what to expect.

Many moving to the U.S. are worried about the safety of their prospective new neighbourhood or simply just travelling about the country. You may have watched American police procedurals or gritty dramas, but while these are compelling, they are also fiction. American crime rates are actually falling. Where the U.S. is grabbing the headlines is in the increase in armed attacks in the nation’s schools. Guns and gun violence are part of a current national debate. Many Americans passionately believe that they should have the right to arm themselves as a result of the Second Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Sadly, there is an increase in gun violence in schools.

You can expect to hear more about this debate when living in the U.S., and the 2018 demonstrations against gun violence reflected a growing movement against the laws concerning gun ownership. Even if gun control laws are tightened, there are still enough weapons in circulation to arm a small army.

Violence and crime

Although crime in general is falling in New York, a report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that murder rose to a record 147 incidents from the months of January to July in 2018. Newspapers love reporting crime — the subject sells and can provide lurid and dramatic headlines. This is important to remember as according to figures collated by the Pew Research Center, violent crime has actually declined across the U.S. in the last quarter century. The Bureau of Justice interviewed over 90,000 citizens asking whether they had been the victims of crime in order to produce this figure.

If you’re at all worried about theft or violence, be sure to ask for local advice when researching where to live. Don’t be ostentatious with your wealth, unless you’re travelling by limousine or private car. The Pew Centre also reported that property theft was on the decline. Between 1993 and 2017, the FBI reported a 50% reduction in crimes against property, including car theft.

Sometimes fear of crime is as much about public perception than actual fact.

As long as you’re properly insured and take sufficient safety measures, you’ll probably enjoy as safe a life in the U.S. as in any other country in the world.

Read our guide to home surveillance to learn more about how to protect you and your family once you’ve relocated.

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