Statistics released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report indicate that the number of violent crimes reported in the first six months of 2011 declined 6.4 percent when compared with figures from the first six months of 2010. The number of property crimes decreased 3.7 percent for the same time frame. The report is based on information from more than 12,500 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six comparable months of data to the FBI in the first six months of 2010 and 2011.
- All four offenses in the violent crime category—murder and nonnegligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—decreased when data from the first six months of 2011 and the first six months of 2010 were compared. The number of murders declined 5.7 percent, and the number of rapes decreased 5.1 percent. Robbery declined 7.7 percent, and aggravated assault decreased 5.9 percent.
- Law enforcement agencies in all six city population groups reported decreases in violent crime. Cities with populations of 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants recorded the largest decrease in violent crime at 7.2 percent. Violent crime also declined in metropolitan counties (7.6 percent) and in nonmetropolitan counties (6.4 percent).
- Violent crime declined in each of the nation’s four regions. The largest decrease (9.7 percent) was in the Midwest, followed by 6.6 percent in the West, 5.8 percent in the South, and 3.6 percent in the Northeast.
- All three categories of property crime—burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft—showed declines in the number of offenses from January to June 2011 when compared with data for the same months of 2010. The number of burglary offenses declined 2.2 percent, larceny-theft dropped 4.0 percent, and motor vehicle theft fell 5.0 percent.
- Each of the six city population groups had decreases in the number of property crimes. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 100,000 to 249,999 inhabitants reported the largest drop, 5.1 percent. Property crime in metropolitan counties declined 3.2 percent; property crime in nonmetropolitan counties decreased 0.5 percent.
- Each region reported declines in the number of property crime: 4.4 percent in the Midwest, 4.0 percent in the West, 3.8 percent in the Northeast, and 3.0 percent in the South.
In the Uniform Crime Reporting program, arson offenses are collected separately from other property crimes. The number of arson offenses declined 8.6 percent in the first six months of 2011 when compared with figures from the first six months of 2010. All four regions reported decreases in the number of arsons—14.5 percent in the Northeast, 8.8 percent in the Midwest, 7.8 percent in the West, and 7.0 percent in the South. The number of arsons also fell in all population groups. The largest decrease, 13.5 percent, was reported in cities with 100,000 to 249,999 inhabitants.
Caution against ranking: When the FBI publishes crime data via its Uniform Crime Reporting program, some entities use the information to compile rankings of cities and counties. Such rankings, however, do not provide insight into the numerous variables that shape crime in a given town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. These rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that can create misleading perceptions that adversely affect communities and their residents. Only through careful study and analyses into the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction can data users create valid assessments of crime. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population or student enrollment.
The complete Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2011, is available exclusively at www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr.