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Violent Crime

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Definition

In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses:  murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.

Data collection     

The data presented in Crime in the United States reflect the Hierarchy Rule, which requires that only the most serious offense in a multiple-offense criminal incident be counted. The descending order of UCR violent crimes are murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, followed by the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Although arson is also a property crime, the Hierarchy Rule does not apply to the offense of arson. In cases in which an arson occurs in conjunction with another violent or property crime, both the arson and the additional crime are reported. 

Overview     

  • In 2012, an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 0.7 percent from the 2011 estimate.
  • When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2012 estimated violent crime total was 12.9 percent below the 2008 level and 12.2 below the 2003 level. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • There were an estimated 386.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, a rate that remained virtually unchanged when compared to the 2011 estimated rate. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • Aggravated assaults accounted for 62.6 percent of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2012. Robbery offenses accounted for 29.2 percent of violent crime offenses; rape accounted for 6.9 percent; and murder accounted for 1.2 percent. (Based on Table 1.)
  • Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation’s murders, 41.0 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults. (Weapons data are not collected for forcible rape.) (See Expanded Homicide Data Table 7, Robbery Table 3, and the Aggravated Assault Table.)

2012 Violent Crime Offense Figure

    What you won't find on this page

    Clearance and arrest data for violent crime.