People used to think of cities as the place where violent crimes were likely to happen. Today, anyone with any knowledge on the matter knows that rural areas are probably a lot more dangerous than anywhere in a city.
These days, cities are far safer than they were in the not-so-distant past. In the meantime, rural areas have become polluted with violence and drugs. In some rural areas, violent crime has risen by as much as 50 percent in the 10 years between 2006 and 2016.
Experts say that much of the increase is due to a combination of factors, including:
- The loss of jobs in rural areas as factories close and farms modernize
- The increasing numbers of people living in poverty
- The drug epidemic, especially opioid abuse
- The shortage of law enforcement
That last factor, in particular, is a huge problem in rural areas. Officers often have to patrol larger and larger areas as the numbers on the police force dwindle due to a lack of taxpayer funding.
Criminals, obviously, are aware that they can get away with a lot in rural areas. Rural areas are the new breeding ground for meth labs and other drug operations. The isolation in rural areas and the lack of an adequate police force makes it far easier to manage a drug operation in the country than it is to manage in the city.
The drug operations also give rise to more violent crime. Some addicts may act out violently while high and others will commit more crimes just to get money for their next fix. There’s no particular solution in sight — which leaves many in rural areas struggling for hope.
A single conviction for a violent crime can make it impossible for someone to escape a cycle of poverty and put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives. Anyone facing charges for a violent crime should carefully consider the long-term consequences of a guilty plea before moving forward.