|THE DECLINE OF CRIME
Even in Tough Economic Times
Unemployment, interest rates, stress—they’re all on the rise as the economy is buffeted by a downturn. What’s not rising, however, is crime, according to statistics compiled by the FBI that show violent crimes and property crimes declined nationwide in 2008.
The data, released today in the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States publication, show violent crimes declined for the second straight year, down 1.9 percent in 2008 from a year earlier. Each of the four categories of violent crime offenses showed declines, including murder and nonnegligent manslaughter (down 3.9 percent); aggravated assault (down 2.5 percent); and forcible rape (down 1.6 percent).
Property crimes on the whole declined for the sixth straight year, led in large part by a 12.7 percent reduction in motor vehicle thefts. Burglaries (up 2 percent) and larceny-thefts (up .3 percent) showed small increases from a year earlier. Losses from property crimes last year are valued at more than $17 billion.
The statistics are provided to the FBI by nearly 17,800 law enforcement agencies that participate voluntarily in our Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
Here are some of the report’s estimates and findings:
In addition to detailing crimes, the annual report contains data on arrests and the percentage of cases that law enforcement agencies have cleared.
Among the key findings:
The annual report, available only online at , includes detailed information by law enforcement agency, location, crime type, weapon type, and demographics, among others. Please be careful not to draw conclusions of the data by making direct comparisons between cities—valid assessments are possible ONLY with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction.
The FBI division that compiles the crime data, Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), also assembles reports on law enforcement officers killed and assaulted in the line of duty and on hate crimes. The annual report on law enforcement officers killed and assaulted is scheduled for release October 19, 2009. The annual hate crime report is tentatively scheduled for release November 23, 2009.
American Crime Rates Lower in 2008 Based on Crimes Reported to Police–FBI
September 15, 2009 by