Report: Violent crime down by 5.3 percent in 2009

Arrests Total 13.68M
    By Steve Rensberry
   (RPC) - 9/14/2010 - There were an estimated 1.31 million violent crimes reported in the United States in 2009, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual crime report, released on Sept. 13. The total represents a drop of 5.3 percent over 2008 figures.   Property crimes were down by about 4.6 percent, the report says.
   Crimes considered to be violent include murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault and non-negligent manslaughter. Property crimes fall into one of several categories, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson or larceny-theft.
   Data contained in the agency's report, "Crime in the United States," is derived from 17,985 participating law-enforcement agencies and police departments across the country with jurisdiction over about 96 percent of the population.
   The were an estimated 13.68 million total arrests in 2009.
   The breakdown: Murder and non-negligent manslaughter,12,418; forcible rape, 21,407; robbery, 126,725; aggravated assault, 421,215; burglary, 299,351; larceny-theft, 1,334,933; motor vehicle theft, 81,797; arson, 12,204; violent crime, 581,765; Property crime , 1,728,285; other assaults, 1,319,458; forgery and counterfeiting, 85,844; fraud, 210,255; embezzlement, 17,920; stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing, 105,303; vandalism, 270,439; weapons--carrying, possessing, etc., 166,334; prostitution and commercialized vice, 71,355; sex offenses (excluding forcible rape and prostitution), 77,326; drug abuse violations, 1,663,582; gambling, 10,360; offenses against family and children, 114,564; driving under the influence, 1,440,409; liquor laws, 570,333; drunkenness, 594,300; disorderly conduct, 655,322; vagrancy, 33,388; all other offenses, 3,764,672; suspicion, 1,975; curfew and loitering law violations, 112,593; and runaways 93,434.
   According to the report:
  • Each of the four violent crime offenses decreased when compared with the 2008 estimates. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter and robbery had the largest decreases: 7.3 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively. In addition, aggravated assault decreased 4.2 percent, and forcible rape declined 2.6 percent. 
  • Nationwide in 2009, an estimated 9,320,971 property crimes were reported.
  • Each of the property crime offenses also decreased in 2009 when compared with the 2008 estimates. The largest decline was for motor vehicle thefts: a 17.1 percent decrease from the 2008 figure. The estimated number of larceny- thefts declined 4.0 percent, and the estimated number of burglaries decreased 1.3 percent.
  • Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) lost an estimated $15.2 billion in 2009. The FBI estimated that in 2009, agencies nationwide made about 13.7 million arrests, excluding traffic violations.
  • The 2009 arrest rate for violent crimes was 191.2 per 100,000 inhabitants; for property crime, the rate was 571.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. 
  • By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and non-negligent manslaughter was 4.1; forcible rape, 7.0; robbery, 42.0; and aggravated assault was 138.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. By property crime offense, the arrest rate for burglary was 98.1; larceny-theft, 442.3; and motor vehicle theft, 26.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. 
  • The arrest rate for arson was 4.0 per 100,000 inhabitant.
  • In 2009, there were 14,614 law enforcement agencies that reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of Oct. 31, 2009, they collectively employed 706,886 sworn officers and 314,570 civilians, a rate of 3.5 employees for each 1,000 inhabitants.
   But the agency also warns against an analysis that is oversimplified, particularly when it comes to ranking cites and counties, as is commonplace each year.
   "To assess criminality and law enforcement’s response from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, one must consider many variables, some of which, while having significant impact on crime, are not readily measurable or applicable pervasively among all locales. Geographic and demographic factors specific to each jurisdiction must be considered and applied if one is going to make an accurate and complete assessment of crime in that jurisdiction.," the report says. See: Variables Affecting Crime.