After rising for two straight years, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation declined from the previous year’s total. The declining trend continued for property crimes, as those offenses were down for the fifth year in a row.
Statistics released today by the FBI show that the estimated volume of violent crime was down 0.7 percent, and the estimated volume of property crime decreased 1.4 percent in 2007 when compared with 2006 figures. The estimated rate of violent crime was 466.9 occurrences per 100,000 inhabitants (a 1.4 percent decrease from the 2006 rate), and the estimated rate of property crime was 3,263.5 per 100,000 inhabitants (a 2.1 percent decline).
The FBI presented these data today in the 2007 edition of Crime in the United States, a statistical compilation of offense and arrest data as reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. The FBI collected these data via the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.
The UCR program gathers offense data for violent and property crimes. Violent crimes are the offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; property crimes are the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The program also collects arrest data for violent and property crimes as well as 21 additional offenses that include all other offenses except traffic violations.
In 2007, more than 17,700 city, county, college and university, state, tribal, and federal agencies voluntarily participated in the UCR program. These agencies represented 94.6 percent of the nation’s population. A summary of the crime statistics presented in Crime in the United States, 2007 follows:
- There were an estimated 1,408,337 violent crimes reported nationwide in 2007.
- All four of the violent crime offenses declined in 2007 when compared with figures from 2006. The estimated number of forcible rapes declined 2.5 percent; the estimated number of murders and nonnegligent manslaughters dropped 0.6 percent; and the estimated number of aggravated assaults also decreased by 0.6 percent. The estimated number of robberies decreased 0.5 percent in 2007 when compared with 2006 data.
- There were an estimated 9,843,481 property crimes, excluding arson, reported nationwide in 2007. (Though the FBI classifies arson as a property crime, it does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation at the agency level. Consequently, arson is not included in the estimated property crime total.)
- Each of the property crimes also declined in 2007. Motor vehicle theft decreased 8.1 percent when 2007 data were compared with the 2006 data. The estimated number of larceny-thefts decreased 0.6 percent, and the estimated number of burglaries declined 0.2 percent.
- In 2007, victims of property crimes, excluding arson, collectively lost an estimated $17.6 billion.
- The FBI estimated that law enforcement agencies nationwide made 14,209,365 arrests in 2007, excluding those for traffic offenses.
- The arrest rate for violent crime was 200.2 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants; for property crime, the rate was 544.1 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants.
- The rate of arrests for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter in 2007 was 4.5 per 100,000 in population. The rate of arrests for forcible rape was 7.7; for robbery, 42.9; and for aggravated assault, 145.1.
- Of the property crimes, law enforcement made 101.5 arrests for burglary for each 100,000 in population, 398.0 for larceny-theft, 39.5 for motor vehicle theft, and 5.1 for arson.
In addition to offense and arrest data, Crime in the United States, 2007 contains information regarding the staffing levels of more than 14,600 city, county, state, college and university, and tribal law enforcement agencies as of October 31, 2007. These agencies reported that, collectively, they employed 699,850 sworn officers and 318,104 civilians, which was a rate of 3.6 employees for each 1,000 inhabitants.
Note: Caution Against Ranking—Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. 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 coverage or student enrollment.