Crime Statistics Decline In First Half Of 2005
Violent crime and property crime trended downward during the first half of 2005 compared with the previous years January-to-June figures, according to the FBIs Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report. The four offenses in the category of violent crime declined, in the aggregate, 0.5%; the three offenses in the category of property crime declined 2.8%. The number of reported arson offenses dropped 5.6%.
The preliminary semiannual report presents information from law enforcement agencies that submitted 3 to 6 comparable months of data to the FBIs Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program during January-June 2004 and January-June 2005. For the current report, a total of 10,374 agencies met this requirement.
Nationwide preliminary data for 2005 showed that for two offenses in the category of violent crime the number of reported incidents increased during the trend period: murder (2.1%) and robbery (0.6%). For the remaining violent crimes, the volume of reported offenses decreased: forcible rape (4.7%) and aggravated assault (0.7%).
An examination of the data by UCR population group across the Nations cities showed that the largest decrease in violent crime, 1.4%, was reported in cities having 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants; the largest increase, also 1.4%, was reported in cities with a population of 100,000 to 249,999. Violent crime decreased 3.8% in nonmetropolitan counties and 4.4% in metropolitan counties.
A breakdown of murder and forcible rape, the two categories of violent crime that had the greatest% change for the six-month trend period, follows:
Reported instances of murder increased 2.1% nationwide, with the largest increase (13%) in cities having fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, and the largest decrease (16.2%) in cities with a population of 10,000 to 29,999. Murder decreased 0.7% in nonmetropolitan counties and increased 2.3% in metropolitan counties.
Across the entire Nation, reported offenses of forcible rape decreased 4.7%. Collectively, law enforcement agencies in cities having 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants reported the largest decrease (5.2%) in this crime, while those in cities having fewer than 10,000 inhabitants reported the smallest decrease (1.2%). Nonmetropolitan counties had a 4.0% decrease in forcible rape, and metropolitan counties had an 8.3% decrease.
Regionally, overall violent crime increased 3.5% in the Midwest but declined 1.9% in the West and 1.4% in the South. It decreased 0.9% in the Northeast. Murder offenses increased in all four regions: 4.9% in the Midwest, 2.2% in the South, 1.9% in the Northeast, and a slight 0.2% in the West. Forcible rape offenses declined in all four regions: 5.8% in the South, 5.7% in the Northeast, 3.9% in the Midwest, and 3.3% in the West.
The UCR Program assesses the Nations level of property crime by tracking reported instances of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. The offense of arson is tracked as a separate category. For the first half of 2005, preliminary UCR data showed a decrease in all property crime compared with 2004 data: Larceny-theft decreased 3.5%, motor vehicle theft decreased 2.1%, and burglary decreased 1.1%.
By population group among cities, those with 250,000 and over in population experienced the largest decrease (3.2%) in reported property crime. Agencies in nonmetropolitan counties reported a 3.6% decrease in this crime category; metropolitan counties, a 2.9% decrease.
A look at the data by region showed that, collectively, law enforcement agencies in the Northeast reported a 4.2% decline in property crime offenses. Agencies in the South and Midwest regions reported similar decreases in this crime category during the trend period: 3.3% and 3.0%, respectively. The West reported a 1.6% decrease.
Nationwide, only one UCR population group experienced an increase in the number of reported arson offenses during the first six months of 2005 compared with the same time period in 2004: a 0.8% increase in cities having fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. The steepest decline (10.1%) in this offense occurred in cities with 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants. Nonmetropolitan counties had a 7.5% decrease in reported arson; metropolitan counties, a 5.9% decrease.
The regional breakdown of UCR data for arson showed that during the trend period occurrences of this crime declined as follows: 7.4% in the Midwest, 7.0% in the West, 6.4% in the Northeast, and 2.9% in the South.