Here are seven other seldom-mentioned factors that those who study crime -- and even some who fight it – say may be helping keep a lid on harmful behavior:
Xbox effect: Dinner bells that summoned children from the great outdoors have long gone silent, and youths and young adults are spending more time on indoor pursuits involving high-definition TVs, gaming consoles and computers. That, say researchers, is having a positive impact on crime. Why? Fewer young people on the street mean fewer potential criminals and fewer targets for criminals.
Potential criminals may also be spending more of their time stealing virtual cars or robbing virtual banks.
Two college professors in Texas working with a researcher at the Center for European Economic Research released a study in 2011 showing violent video games such as "Grand Theft Auto" or "Call of Duty" could mitigate aggressive behavior and lead to a decrease in crime. The researchers called the phenomenon the "incapacitation effect.