According to the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report released today, the nation experienced a 2.5 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes and a 1.6 percent decline in the number of property crimes for 2008 compared with data from 2007. The report is based on information that the FBI gathered from 12,750 law enforcement agencies that submitted six to 12 comparable months of data to the FBI for both 2007 and 2008.
* In 2008, all four of the violent crime offense categories declined nationwide compared with data from 2007. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 4.4 percent, aggravated assault was down 3.2 percent, forcible rape decreased 2.2 percent, and robbery decreased 1.1 percent.
* Violent crime declined in all city groups. Those cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 saw the greatest decline in violent crime (4.0 percent). Violent crime in non-metropolitan counties decreased 3.3 percent and in metropolitan counties declined 2.5 percent.
* Murder and non-negligent manslaughter dropped 9.1 percent in cities with 100,000 to 249,999 in population. However, in cities with populations less than 10,000, murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased 5.5 percent.
* Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants experienced the greatest decline in forcible rapes at 4.4 percent; cities under 10,000 in population showed the only rise in forcible rapes at 1.4 percent. Forcible rape offenses decreased 7.3 percent in non-metropolitan counties, but increased 0.6 percent in metropolitan counties.
* Although robbery overall showed a decrease, cities with populations less than 25,000 showed increases in robbery. Robberies also increased in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
* Aggravated assault decreased in all city groups. Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants experienced the greatest decrease at 6.0 percent. Aggravated assaults declined in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, 3.9 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
* Violent crimes decreased in all four regions of the country in 2008. However, slight increases in murder were reported in the Northeast (0.7 percent) and in the Midwest (0.4 percent). The Northeast also showed increases of 2.5 percent for forcible rape and 0.3 percent in robbery.
* Nationwide, burglaries were the only property crime to show an increase (1.3 percent) in 2008 compared with 2007 data. Larceny-thefts were down 0.6 percent, and motor vehicle thefts declined 13.1 percent.
* Property crimes decreased in all city groupings. Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants had the greatest decrease in property crimes with a decline of 5.1 percent. Property crimes decreased 0.9 percent in non-metropolitan counties but increased 0.2 percent in metropolitan counties.
* Burglary offenses increased 3.3 percent in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 persons. Burglaries also increased in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, 2.1 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.
* Larceny-theft increased 0.5 percent in the nation’s largest cities (one million and over in population) but decreased in all other city groups. In metropolitan counties, larceny-thefts rose 1.4 percent but in non-metropolitan counties declined 1.2 percent.
* For motor vehicle theft, declines occurred in all population groupings. Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants experienced the greatest decline at 16.8 percent.
* Three of the nation’s four regions had decreases in property crimes in 2008 when compared with data from 2007. The greatest decrease in 2008 was in the West, where property crimes were down 4.2 percent. In the Northeast, however, property crimes increased 1.6 percent.
* Arson offenses, tracked separately from other property crimes, decreased 3.9 percent nationwide. But law enforcement agencies in cities 250,000 to 499,999 in population recorded the only increase in arson (2.1 percent). Arson offenses declined in all four regions in 2008. The largest decrease (5.9 percent) was in the West.