LAWFUEL – The Law & Legal Newswire – We’ve just released our preliminary crime statistics for 2006…and they’re available in full only here on this website. The big picture? Nationwide, violent crime in the U.S. increased 1.3 percent and property crime decreased 2.9 percent over 2005.
The stats, which we collected from more than 11,700 law enforcement agencies nationwide, show a rise in violent crime for the second straight year. The increase, however, is less than the 2.3 percent figure reported for 2005 and the 3.7 percent increase reflected in the preliminary six-month report for 2006 released in December.
A snapshot of the other key numbers for the full year:
Murder: Is up 0.3 percent overall. The number of offenses increased the most—6.7 percent—in cities with a million or more residents and decreased the most—11.9 percent—in non-metropolitan counties.
Forcible rape: Decreased nearly 2 percent overall. Only two population categories experienced increases, both with populations less than 100,000.
Robbery: Rose 6 percent, the highest increase in any violent or property crime category. Each population group except non-metropolitan counties saw an increase.
Aggravated assault: Experienced a slight overall drop of 0.7 percent. The largest cities experienced the greatest declines.
Regional breakdown: Three of four geographic regions (except the Northeast) showed violent crime increases. The largest increase was in the West, with 2.8 percent.
Burglary: Increased slightly, 0.2 percent. The greatest increase—3.3 percent—came in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 residents.
Larceny-theft (down 3.5 percent overall) and motor vehicle theft (down 4.7 percent) experienced decreases in every population category.
Arson: Is up 1.8 percent in all but one population group. Arsons are tracked separately from other property crime offenses.
The stats also include:
A breakdown by major cities;
The overall percent change compared to the prior year since 2003; and
National totals for each category by geographic region.
The reason we collect and share these crime stats year after year, of course, is to help law enforcement, legislators, and communities better understand and fight crime. The information will help our own efforts to disrupt violent crime and dismantle gangs through our more than 180 multi-agency safe street tasks forces around the country, including our newest one in Orlando, Florida.
See our Violent Crime and Major Thefts webpage for more details on our work to protect your communities from violence, including our intelligence work and the range of criminal justice services and other capabilities we provide to the entire law enforcement community.