Preliminary figures released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday indicate that the number of violent crimes and property crimes reported by law enforcement across the nation during 2011 decreased when compared to 2010 figures.
According to the FBI's Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December 2011, violent crimes fell 4.0 percent, and property crimes dropped 0.8 percent. Arson - also a property crime even though its data is considered separately because of various levels of participation by reporting agencies - was down 5.0 percent overall.
Highlights from the preliminary report include:
• In the violent crime offenses category, murder was down overall 1.9 percent from 2010 figures, while forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault all fell 4.0 percent.
• There was, however, an increase in murder in the Midwest (0.6 percent) and an 18.3 percent jump in murder in cities with populations of less than 10,000.
• In the property crimes category, motor vehicle theft saw the largest decline (3.3 percent) from 2010 figures, followed by larceny-theft (0.9 percent).
• The only overall rise in property crimes was in the burglary category, which was up .03 percent overall, with increases of 3.2 percent in the Northeast, 1.3 percent in the Midwest, and 0.7 percent in the West.
The final figures will be published this fall in Crime in the United States 2011.
Submitting Uniform Crime Reporting data to the FBI is a collective effort on the part of city, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies to present a nationwide view of crime. Participating agencies voluntarily provide reports on crimes known to them, using uniform offense definitions. For the most part, agencies submit monthly crime reports to a centralized repository in their state. The state UCR program then forwards the data to the FBI's national UCR program, where staff members first review the information for accuracy and reasonableness and then enter it into the national UCR database.