Economy sparks concerns about summer crime

Officials and academic scholars are concerned that the typical summer spike in crime will be worse this year because of Ohio's tough economic conditions.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman says the city has seen a relationship between economic hard times and crime. So, more police will be put in high-crime areas again this summer, a curfew law will be enforced starting June 5, and the city will launch a summer recreation and jobs program for teens.

Ohio State University economist Bruce Weinberg says his research has found falling wages and rising unemployment fueled increases in crime between 1979 and 1997.

But sociologist Michael Norris at Dayton's Wright State University says other studies suggest the link between crime and the economy isn't clear.