Suburban Violence

Is the middle class threatened by a crime wave?


Envied for decades as havens from crime, the nation's suburbs are increasingly the setting for burglaries, rapes, car thefts and gunfights between youth gangs. Many residents fear that crime is spilling out from the inner cities on highways and public transportation systems, but others argue that most suburban crime is home-grown. While homeowners install burglar alarms and build walls around their subdivisions, social critics warn against widening racial and class divisions and the decline of America's sense of community. As land-use planners rethink the design of suburban tracts and shopping malls, suburban residents are joining Neighborhood Watch anti-crime groups.

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