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This chapter questions whether media accounts of crime and disorder in boomtowns and their focus on drugs, sex, and violence are accurate. A common theme in these reports is that US oil fields have become a new wild west, where murder and mayhem are common. An analysis of crime in boom counties shows that while crime does increase, the offenses in most places reflect an influx of young males in the population, with an increase in common assaults, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, and drug offenses. While serious and violent offenses increase in some boom counties, there is no consistent pattern, and some boomtowns or boom counties have relatively low growth in the number of serious crimes reported to the police. There is also evidence that crime rates stabilize as the boom matures and fewer workers are required to maintain resource extraction.
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- The Boom–Crime Relationship
- Palgrave Macmillan US
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