Publicity by Association: Having Already Reinvented Mobile Music Culture, Apple's Iconic iPod Also Caused a Crime Wave, Say Researchers

It’s easy to see why iPods would be alluring targets for criminals: The music players are valuable and easy to resell, and people absorbed in their personal soundtracks can be vulnerably oblivious to their surroundings. But could the temptation for stealing iPods be so strong that they’re behind an increase in the crime rate? Researchers at a public policy institute say yes, the AP reports.

They argue that the tantalizing gadgets are perhaps the main reason U.S. violent crime rose in 2005 and 2006 after declining every year since 1991 — although a close look at the findings suggests the hypothesis has holes, reports AP writer Brian Bergstein .

The Urban Institute , a Washington think tank, first raised the subject of an “iCrime wave” last September, and held a panel discussion this week to explore it further. The researchers don’t blame iPod maker Apple or any other device maker for crime, but they do say consumers should demand technologies that would render stolen gadgets useless.

A key point in the Urban Institute’s argument is that robberies — the taking of something by force or the threat of it — had seen dramatic reductions since the 1990s, but jumped in 2005 and 2006. FBI statistics show the robbery rate went from 137 per 100,000 people in 2004 to 141 per 100,000 in 2005 and 149 in 2006. That helped boost the overall rate of violent crime in those years, even as rape rates fell and aggravated assault was generally flat.

During those years, iPods were going mainstream. In late 2004, Apple had sold about 5 million iPods. By the end of 2005 that had ballooned to 42 million, and in 2006 the number neared 90 million.

One widely accepted theory holds that crime happens when three things come together: A motivated offender encounters a suitable victim and perceives a high chance of getting away with it. And the Urban Institute researchers believe the sudden prevalence of iPods increased all three factors.

The rate for robberies by juveniles increased during this “iCrime Wave” to a much greater degree than the rate for adults, Urban Institute researcher John Roman pointed out. And if economic woes could explain the jump — a traditional place to look in crime research — Roman doesn’t believe the overall rates of property crimes would have dropped in ’05 and ’06, as they did.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PR Biz Update PR Agency News PR People Marketing Trends
Great presentation! Group of business people in smart casual wear sitting together at the table and applauding to their colleague standing near whiteboard and smiling
Are You a Steamroller or a Compromiser? A Daredevil or a Safety Officer? Take AMA’s Marketing Personality Test to Find Out

Move over, Myers-Briggs. Stand aside, StrengthsFinder. There’s a new test in town,...

Illustration of an elegant beautiful celebrity woman on a red carpet with paparazzi lights flashing
Brand Marketing Lessons from the Stars: Entrepreneurs Say Kim Kardashian Is Out, Oprah Winfrey Is In, Xero Finds

Plenty of stars, from Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, to Ashton Kutcher and Dr Dre, have...

News. Media concept. Laptop, tablet pc and smartphone. 3d
Media-Consumption Trends Across the Pond: UK Consumers Demand Free News Online—But Expect Content Creators to be Paid

New research brings a critical media-consumption dilemma to the forefront—according to...

Thought Leaders On Deadline
Aaron Perlut
Branding Lesson from Donald Trump: Disruption Is the New Innovation

By Aaron Perlut, Founding Partner, Elasticity Question: Why has Donald Trump, at least...

Group Of Business People Listening To A Speech
(Net)work That Conference: 15 Tips to Help You Make Career-Enhancing Connections at Your Next Conference

In the spotlight: Alaina G. Levine, President, Quantum Success Solutions Love...

businessman cheer on top of money stairs with sunlight cloudscape
The Importance of Marketing for Turning a Company Into an Investable Opportunity

By Aimee Williams, Freelance Writer Growth should be a key feature...

PRtools-pics3
Media monitoring and analysis

Current clients, please login here. Would you like to reduce the...

PRtools-pics
Inside Health Media

Current clients, please login here. Top pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, healthcare PR...

PRtools-pics2
MediaPro: Bulldog Reporter's media database

Current clients, please login here. Do you need precisely targeted press...

PRtools-pics4
Blogger Lists

These blogger lists are guaranteed to increase your chances for scoring blockbuster...