19 September 2011

Crime Rates Fall For Fourth Year In A Row

Both violent and property crime rates are down again, despite the worst since the Great Depression economic slump.

*The estimated volumes of violent and property crimes declined 6.0 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, when compared with the 2009 estimates.
*Compared to 2009 estimates, each of the four violent crime offenses declined, with the largest decrease in Robbery (a drop of 10.0 percent). Forcible rape fell by 5.0 percent; murder and nonnegligent manslaughter by 4.2 percent; and aggravated assault by 4.1 percent.
* Nationwide there were an estimated 9,082,887 property crimes last year.
* Each category of property crime decreased in 2010 compared to 2009: Motor vehicle thefts fell by 7.4 percent, burglaries by 2.0 percent, and larceny-thefts by 2.4 percent.
* Arson offenses decreased 7.6 percent in 2010, although differences in reporting among agencies means arson offenses are excluded from total property crime figures.
* Collectively, property crimes (excluding arson) cost victims an estimated $15.7 billion in 2010.

The GDP of the U.S. in 2010 was about $14.7 trillion. So, property crimes, excluding incomes, cost victims roughly 0.1% of GDP. We spend more than $68 billion a year (about 0.4% of GDP) on incarcerating criminals.

The cumulative effect has been huge.

During the 10-year period from 2001 to 2010, the overall violent victimization rate decreased by 40 percent and the property victimization rate fell by 28 percent.

These declines in violent and property victimizations continued a larger trend of decreasing criminal victimization in the United States. In 2010, violent and property victimization rates fell to their lowest levels since the early 1990s. From 1993 to 2010, the violent crime victimization rate decreased 70 percent, dropping steadily from about 50 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 1993 to about 15 per 1,000 in 2010. The property crime victimization rate fell 62 percent, from about 319 victimizations per 1,000 households in 1993 to 120 per 1,000 in 2010.

The Sunday Denver Post also compared crime in the city and suburbs from 1990 and recently. Crime rates have fallen in both the city and suburbs for both violent and property crimes, but the decline has been steeper in the city than the suburbs. In 1990, the city was much more crime ridden than the suburbs, now it has only slightly more crime and the crime rates in the city now and much lower than suburban crime rates were in 1990.

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