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FBI Finds 2009 US Crime Falls For Third Straight Year
FBI 2010/9/17

According to the figures released by the FBI, the estimated number of violent crimes in the U.S. declined in 2009 for the third consecutive year. Property crimes also declined in 2009, marking the seventh straight year that the collective estimates for these offenses dropped below the previous year’s total. According to the figures released by the FBI, the estimated number of violent crimes in the U.S. declined in 2009 for the third consecutive year. Property crimes also declined in 2009, marking the seventh straight year that the collective estimates for these offenses dropped below the previous year’s total.

The 2009 statistics show that the estimated volumes of violent and property crimes declined 5.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, when compared with the 2008 estimates. The violent crime rate for the year was 429.4 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants (a 6.1-percent decrease from the 2008 rate), and the property crime rate was 3,036.1 per 100,000 persons (a 5.5-percent decrease from the 2008 figure).

These and additional data are presented in the 2009 edition of the FBI’s annual report “Crime in the United States.” This publication is a statistical compilation of offense and arrest data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

The UCR program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. (Although the FBI classifies arson as a property crime, it does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation by the reporting agencies. Consequently, arson is not included in the property crime estimate.) The program also collects arrest data for the offenses listed above plus 21 additional offenses that include all other crimes except traffic violations.

In 2009, there were 17,985 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies that participated in the UCR program. These agencies represented 96.3 percent of the US population. A summary of the statistics reported by these agencies, which are included in Crime in the United States, 2009, follows:

* Nationwide in 2009, there were an estimated 1,318,398 violent crimes reported
* Each of the four violent crime offenses decreased when compared with the 2008 estimates. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter and robbery had the largest decreases: 7.3 percent and 8 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 percent, and the estimated number of burglaries decreased 1.3 percent.
* Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) lost an estimated US$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 nonnegligent 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 inhabitants.
* 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 employed 706,886 sworn officers and 314,570 civilians, a rate of 3.5 employees for each 1,000 inhabitants.

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