The overall violent crime rate declined slightly from 26.1 to 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 U.S. residents from 2012 to 2013, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The violent crime rate had declined for nearly two decades before increasing in 2011 and 2012.
The 2013 decrease in violent crime was largely the result of a slight decline in simple assault, which is violence that does not involve a weapon or serious injury. The rate of violence committed by strangers also declined in 2013. However, there was no statistically significant change in the rate (7.3 per 1,000 in 2013) of serious violence, defined as rape or sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault.
In addition, there were no significant changes from 2012 to 2013 in the rates of firearm violence (1.3 per 1,000), violence resulting in injury to the victim (6.1), domestic violence (4.2) or intimate partner violence (2.8). Intimate partner violence is violence committed by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, and domestic violence includes crimes by intimate partners and family members.
In 2013, 1.2 percent of all U.S. residents age 12 or older (3 million persons) experienced at least one violent victimization, down from 1.4 percent in 2012. About 0.4 percent (1.1 million persons) experienced at least one serious violent victimization.
The overall property crime rate, which includes burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft, also decreased after two consecutive years of increases. From 2012 to 2013, the rate declined from 155.8 to 131.4 victimizations per 1,000 U.S. households. The rate of theft declined from 120.9 to 100.5 victimizations per 1,000 households, driving the decline in the overall rate. In 2013, 9 percent of all households (11.5 million households) experienced one or more property victimizations.
An estimated 46 percent of violent crime and 61 percent of serious violent crime was reported to police in 2013. A greater percentage of robbery (68 percent) and aggravated assault (64 percent) was reported than simple assault (38 percent) and rape or sexual assault (35 percent) victimizations.
From 2012 to 2013, the percentage of property crime reported to police increased from 34 to 36 percent. Reported thefts increased from 26 to 29 percent, accounting for the majority of the increase in the overall percentage of property crime reported to police. About 75 percent of motor vehicle thefts and 57 percent of burglaries were reported to police in 2013.
Other findings from the report include―
- In 2013, 10 percent of violent crime victims received assistance from a victim service agency.
- Violent victimization in urban areas declined from 32.4 per 1,000 in 2012 to 25.9 per 1,000 in 2013.
- The violent crime rate declined for males but did not change significantly for females from 2012 to 2013.
- From 2012 to 2013, the violent crime rate declined for blacks while remaining flat for whites and Hispanics.
The NCVS is the largest data collection on criminal victimization independent of crimes reported by law enforcement agencies to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR)—the nation’s other key measure of the extent and nature of crime in the United States. During 2013, about 90,630 households and 160,040 persons age 12 or older were interviewed for the NCVS. Since the NCVS interviews victims of crime, homicide is not included in these nonfatal victimization estimates.
The report, Criminal Victimization, 2013 (NCJ 247648), was written by BJS statisticians Jennifer L. Truman and Lynn Langton. More information on criminal victimization from 1993 to 2013 is available from the NCVS Victimization Analysis Tool on the BJS website athttp://www.bjs.gov/. The full text of the report, related documents and other BJS statistical resources can also be found on the BJS website.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.
SOURCE Bureau of Justice Statistics