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Statistical Overviews

Crime and Victimization

According to National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data, from 1998 to 1999, the overall violent crime rate declined 10%, the result of a decrease in the simple assault rate. Overall property crime rates declined due to lower rates of burglary and household theft. (Rennison, C. August 2000. Criminal Victimization 1999, Changes 1998-99 with Trends 1993-99. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.)

In 1998, U.S. residents ages twelve or older experienced approximately 28.8 million crimes. Types of victimization are as follows: 74% (21.2 million) were property crimes; 25% (7.4 million) were crimes of violence; and 1% were personal thefts. (Ibid.)

Victims reported over four in ten (44%) violent crimes and over three in ten (34%) property crimes to the police in 1999. Among violent crimes, victims reported robberies most often (61%) and rape or sexual assaults least often (28%). Among property crimes, motor vehicle thefts continued to be the property crime most often reported (84%). (Ibid.)

Males were victims of overall violent crime at rates 28% greater and robbed at rates more than two times that of females. (Ibid.)

Victimizations per every 1,000 persons ages twelve and older in 1999 included: 42 blacks, 34 Hispanics, 32 whites, and 25 persons of other races. (Ibid.)

In 1999, for every 1,000 persons ages twelve or older, there occurred twelve rapes or sexual assaults, two assaults with serious injury, and four robberies. (Ibid.)

According to the FBI Crime Clock for 1999: one violent crime occurred every 22 seconds; one murder every 34 minutes; one forcible rape every 6 minutes; one robbery every minute; and one aggravated assault every 34 seconds. Additionally, one property crime occurred every 3 seconds; one burglary every 15 seconds; one larceny-theft every 5 seconds; and one motor vehicle theft every 27 seconds. In 1999, one Crime Index offense occurred every 3 seconds. (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 15 October 2000. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 1999. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

In 1999, law enforcement agencies nationwide made an estimated 14 million arrests for all criminal infractions excluding traffic violations. More specifically, drug abuse violations accounted for 1.5 million arrests; driving under the influence, approximately 1.5 million arrests; larceny-thefts, 1.2 million arrests; and simple assaults, 1.3 million arrests. (Ibid., 211)

The 1999 rate for Crime Index offenses—4,267 for each 100,000 inhabitants in the U.S.-was the lowest reported rate since 1973. (Ibid., 6)

Crime Index Offenses for 1999 include the following crimes and prevalence of occurrence: larceny-theft (59.8%); burglary (18%); motor vehicle theft (9.9%); aggravated assault (7.9%); robbery (3.5%); forcible rape (0.8%); and murder (0.1%). (Ibid., 8, figure 2.3)

Of the 21% Crime Index clearance rate (excluding arson), murder offenses were cleared most often (69.1%) and larceny-theft offenses cleared the least (19.1%). (Ibid., 203)


National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Reach for the Stars
April 22-28, 2001
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