1. Pick a city or town, Examine trends in criminal activity over the last three years. Analyze crime statistics for major/minor offense categories such as murder, robbery, rape etc. and create a table of the results. Graph the results showing trends for the various offenses. In addition, analyze the raw data and identify areas within your chosen location that go against the trend. For ex, murder may be down across the city but may have risen in a particular neighborhood.
Analyze whether this "across the board" reduction can be logically describeed simply by "good police work". Does that make sense to you? Has every law enforcement agency in the nation become more effective over the same period at exactly the same time? What other factors must be considered?
2. Examine the data and look for increases in crime that do not reflect the generally downward trend. Identify two crimes that have either increased in number or have just simply not shown as dramatic a reduction as other areas have. Theorize as to why some crimes seem to buck the trend.