Preliminary FBI figures reveal that the levels of both violent crime and property crime in the U.S. declined in 2010 from the previous year's data.
The 2010 Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, just released today, shows a 5.5 percent decrease in the number of reported violent crimes when compared with data from 2009. It also shows a 2.8 percent decline in reported property crimes.
This latest report is based on information submitted to the FBI from 13,007 law enforcement agencies around the country. The crimes covered are murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Some of the report's highlights include:
• Nationally, murder declined 4.4 percent, while forcible rape dropped 4.2 percent, robbery 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault 3.6 percent—all when compared with 2009 crime figures.
• Geographically speaking, the South saw the largest decline in violent crime (7.5 percent), followed by the Midwest (5.9 percent), the West (5.8 percent) and the Northeast (0.4 percent).
• Concerning property crime, motor vehicle theft was down 7.2 percent, larceny-theft was down 2.8 percent, and burglary was down 1.1 percent. Arson, tracked separately from other property crimes, fell 8.3 percent nationally.
• All regions of the country experienced overall declines in property crime during 2010 from 2009 rates: down 3.8 percent in the South, 2.7 percent in the Midwest, 2.5 percent in the West, and 0.5 percent in the Northeast.
• All city population groups saw decreases in violent crime.
• Cities with populations of less than 10,000 saw a significant drop in murder—a 25.2 percent decrease.
There were some specific increases noted:
• The Northeast saw increases in some violent crime categories from 2009 figures—murder was up 8.3 percent, forcible rape up 1.4 percent, and aggravated assault up 0.7 percent.
• Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 saw a 3.0 percent rise in murder, while cities with populations of 500,000 to 999,999 saw a 1.9 percent increase in forcible rape, and cities between 25,000 and 49,999 saw an increase of 1.3 percent in burglary.
• The Northeast also saw an increase in burglary—up 3.5 percent.
• Non-metropolitan counties reported slight increases in burglary (1.2 percent) and larceny-theft (3.2 percent).
Also available in the preliminary report are tables that include the number of offenses reported by cities—organized by state—with populations of more than 100,000. These tables include preliminary totals of offenses known to law enforcement for agencies that provided us with 12 months of complete data in both 2009 and 2010.
As always, we caution against drawing conclusions from the data in this report by making direct comparisons between cities. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction.