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article imageDownward trend in violent crime continues in US, report shows

By Lynn Herrmann     Sep 18, 2011 in Crime
Washington - Violent crime in the US experienced a double-digit drop in 2010, far greater than the nation’s average during the last decade, with violent and property victimization rates falling to their lowest levels since the early 1990s, a new report shows.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), Criminal Victimization, 2010 (pdf), obtains information on nonfatal crimes against residents age 12 or older and reveals they experienced a 13 percent decline last year, around three times the average annual decrease seen from 2001 through 2009 (4%). However, the percentage of victims suffering an injury as the result of a violent crime increased from 24 percent in 2008 to 29 percent in 2010.
Property victimization fell by 6 percent in 2010, compared to the 3 percent average annual decrease from 2001 through 2009.
Experts are unable to pinpoint the reason, as high unemployment and a weak economy tend to see an increase in criminal activity. “We’re surprised to find how much it declines,” said Professor Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School, Time reports.
For the report, violent crime includes rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault. Property victimization includes burglary, motor vehicle theft and household theft.
The report notes around 50 percent of all violent crimes and almost 40 percent of property crimes were reported to police last year. These numbers remain constant with the annual average over the last 10 years.
The 2010 results continue a trend which began in 1993 in the decrease of violent crime. with the rate nosediving, from 49.9 violent crimes per 1,000 persons in 1993 to just 14.9 persons per 1,000 in 2010, a staggering 70 percent decrease. Violent crime rate is calculated on the number per thousand population while the property crime rate is determined by the number per thousand household.
Conducted annually by the US Census Bureau, the NCVS collects data on crimes reported and not reported throughout the US to police and as such, is considered the government’s most reliable information on violent crimes. Because it’s information is obtained from interviews with victims, it does not include murder statistics.
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