Preliminary Crime Stats
For the First Half of 2011
According to the FBI’s just-released Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report—which covers January through June 2011—the number of violent crimes and property crimes reported to us showed a decrease compared to figures from the same time frame in 2010, continuing a downward trend.
Overall, violent crimes were down 6.4 percent, while property crimes fell 3.7 percent.
Here are some highlights of our preliminary crime statistics for the first six months of 2011, as compared to the same period last year:
- The occurrence of all four offense types in the violent crime category decreased—murder was down 5.7 percent; rape dropped 5.1 percent, robbery fell 7.7 percent, and aggravated assault declined 5.9 percent. And it didn’t matter what region of the country you lived in—decreases in each category were seen in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West.
- Overall violent crime declined in all six city population groups and metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, with most violent crime offenses showing decreases. There were some upticks: murder in cities with populations between 500,000 and 999,999 (up 1.2 percent); murder in cities with under 10,000 people (2.6 percent); rape in cities of 1 million or more (1.0 percent); rape in cities of 500,000 to 999,999 (6.7 percent); and rape in cities of 250,000 to 499.999 (0.1 percent).
- Like violent crime, all offense types in the property crime category showed decreases—burglary (down 2.2 percent), larceny-theft (4.0 percent), and motor vehicle theft (5.0 percent). And like violent crime, these declines occurred in all four regions of the country.
- All three property crime types fell in all six city population groups and in metropolitan counties. Just one exception in non-metropolitan counties—larceny-theft was up 0.5 percent.
- Arson, which declined 8.6 percent overall, also saw individual decreases in all four areas of the country and in every population group.
Uses for the UCR data: To provide law enforcement with data that can help with budget formulation, planning, resource allocation, assessment of police operations, etc., to help address crime problems at various levels.
Also, criminal justice researchers can study the nature, cause, and movement of crime over time. Legislators can draft anti-crime measures using the research findings and recommendations of law enforcement administrators, planners, and public and private entities concerned with the problem of crime. Chambers of commerce and tourism agencies can examine the data to see how it impacts the geographic jurisdictions they represent. And the news media can use crime statistics to inform the public about the state of crime locally and nationally.
What this UCR data should not be used for: To compile rankings of individual jurisdictions and institutions of higher learning and/or to evaluate the effectiveness of individual law enforcement agencies. These incomplete analyses have often created misleading perceptions that adversely affect geographic entities and their residents. UCR statistics include only jurisdictional population figures along with reported crimes, clearance, or arrest data—not the many socio-economic and other factors that cause the volume and type of crime to vary from place to place.
The preliminary full-year crime statistics will be released next summer, and the final Crime in the United States 2011 report will be available in the fall.