Campus News

Experts to discuss link between economy and crime

Experts to discuss link between economy and crime at UGA symposium April 28

Athens, Ga. – Economic dips don’t just affect Wall Street, but Main Street too. Three experts will discuss how the financial crisis affects crime at “The Economic Downturn: Rising Crime, Scams, and Fraud” symposium on April 28 at UGA.

One FBI employee, a local police officer and a UGA sociologist will speak and take questions at the event, which runs from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Room 137 of the Tate Student Center. Sponsored by the UGA Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Center for International Trade and Security, the event is open free to the public.

Mark Cooney, an assistant professor of sociology at UGA who studies the sociology of law, social control, criminology and deviant behavior, will talk about how local crime trends compare with normal theories of crime.

“It seems obvious that crime increases during economic downturns-more people are unemployed, in debt and under stress trying to make ends meet,” he said. “But is this what actually happens in a recession? Might some types of crime hold steady or even decline? I will review the evidence on these issues.”

David Griffeth, crime analyst for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, will discuss trends specific to the local area and the strategies the department uses to prevent crime.

In addition, James Noonan, a statistician who works out of FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., will be a part of the panel. He recently conducted research on how the economy affects crime.

“He’s the expert. When the FBI wants to know about this topic, they ask Jim Noonan,” said John Newton, emergency operations coordinator with OSEP and event organizer.

For more information, see or call 706/542-5845.