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US property crime rate declined in 2014

But violent crime rate remained unchanged, says US Bureau of Justice Statistics

27 August 2015

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The violent crime rate did not change significantly in 2014 compared to 2013, the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has announced today.

Violent crimes include rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault. In 2014, the violent crime rate was 20.1 victimisations per 1,000 US residents aged 12 or older.

The rate of domestic violence, which includes crimes committed by intimate partners and family members was also unchanged from 2013 to 2014 (4.2 per 1,000).

Likewise, in 2014 the rates of intimate partner violence (2.4 per 1,000), violence resulting in an injury (5.2 per 1,000) and violence involving a firearm (1.7 per 1,000) did not change significantly.

In comparison, the property crime rate, which includes burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft, fell from 131.4 victimisations per 1,000 households in 2013 to 118.1 per 1,000 in 2014. The overall decline was largely the result of a decline in theft.

An estimated three million people (1.1 per cent of all persons aged 12 or older in the United States) experienced one or more violent victimisations in 2014. Among all US households, an estimated 10.4 million (8.0 per cent of all households) experienced one or more property victimisations.

In 2014, 46 per cent of violent victimisations, 56 per cent of serious violent victimisations and 37 per cent of property victimisations were reported to the police. There was no significant change in the percentage of violent, serious violent or property victimisations reported to the police from the prior year.

The overall rate of property crime reported to the police decreased from 47.4 to 43.7 victimisations per 1,000 households from 2013 to 2014.

In 2014, a greater percentage of robberies (61 per cent) and aggravated assaults (58 per cent) were reported to police than simple assaults (40 per cent) and rape or sexual assaults (34 per cent). A larger percentage of motor vehicle thefts (83 per cent) than burglaries (60 per cent) and other thefts (29 percent) were reported to the police.

From 2013 to 2014, the rate of violent victimisation for Hispanics declined 35 per cent, from 24.8 to 16.2 victimisations per 1,000 persons, dropping below the rate for non-Hispanic black people (22.5 per 1,000). The decline was largely the result of a drop in simple assault.

From 2013 to 2014, crime rates varied slightly by region. There was no significant difference in the rate of violent crime in the midwest and south, while the northeast and west had slight decreases.

Property crime rates decreased in the midwest, south and western regions of the country, but there was no significant change in the rate of property crime in the northeast.

Other key findings include:

  • the rate of simple assault declined from 15.8 victimisations per 1,000 persons in 2013 to 12.4 per 1,000 in 2014;

  • the violent crime rate for people aged 12 to 17 declined from 52.1 victimisations per 1,000 in 2013 to 30.1 in 2014;

  • in 2014, 11 per cent of violent crime victims received assistance from a victim service agency, which was similar to the percentage that received assistance in 2013;

  • more than a quarter (28 per cent) of intimate partner violence victims received assistance from a victim service agency; and

  • from 2013 to 2014, there were no significant changes in rates of violent crime across urban, suburban and rural areas.

The report, Criminal Victimization, 2014 (NCJ 248973), was written by BJS statisticians Jennifer L Truman and Lynn Langton. The findings are based on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

The NCVS is the largest data collection on nonfatal criminal victimisation independent of crimes reported by law enforcement agencies to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) - the other key measure of the extent and nature of crime in the United States.




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