Violent crime rate in US unchanged, property crime down in 2014

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WASHINGTON, DC – The violent crime rate did not change significantly in 2014 compared to 2013, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

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WASHINGTON, DC – The violent crime rate did not change significantly in 2014 compared to 2013, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. Violent crimes include rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault. In 2014, the violent crime rate was 20.1 victimizations per 1,000 US residents age 12 or older.

The rate of domestic violence, which includes crime committed by intimate partners (current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends) and family members was also unchanged from 2013 to 2014 (4.2 per 1,000). Likewise, in 2014 the rates of intimate partner violence (2.4 per 1,000), violence resulting in an injury (5.2 per 1,000) and violence involving a firearm (1.7 per 1,000) did not change significantly.

In comparison, the property crime rate, which includes burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft, fell from 131.4 victimizations per 1,000 households in 2013 to 118.1 per 1,000 in 2014. The overall decline was largely the result of a decline in theft.

An estimated 3 million people (1.1 percent of all persons age 12 or older in the United States) experienced one or more violent victimizations in 2014. Among households in the United States, an estimated 10.4 million (8.0 percent of all households) experienced one or more property victimizations.

In 2014, 46 percent of violent victimizations, 56 percent of serious violent victimizations and 37 percent of property victimizations were reported to police. There was no significant change in the percentage of violent, serious violent or property victimizations reported to police from the prior year. The overall rate of property crime reported to police decreased from 47.4 to 43.7 victimizations per 1,000 households from 2013 to 2014.

In 2014, a greater percentage of robberies (61 percent) and aggravated assaults (58 percent) were reported to police than simple assaults (40 percent) and rape or sexual assaults (34 percent). A larger percentage of motor vehicle thefts (83 percent) than burglaries (60 percent) and other thefts (29 percent) were reported to police.

From 2013 to 2014, the rate of violent victimization for Hispanics declined 35 percent, from 24.8 to 16.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons, dropping below the rate for non-Hispanic blacks (22.5 per 1,000). The decline was largely the result of a drop in simple assault.

From 2013 to 2014, crime rates varied slightly by region. There was no significant difference in the rate of violent crime in the Midwest and South, while the Northeast and West had slight decreases. Property crime rates decreased in the Midwest, South and Western regions of the country, but there was no significant change in the rate of property crime in the Northeast.

Other key findings include—

• The rate of simple assault declined from 15.8 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 2013 to 12.4 per 1,000 in 2014.

• The violent crime rate for persons ages 12 to 17 declined from 52.1 victimizations per 1,000 in 2013 to 30.1 in 2014.

• In 2014, 11 percent of violent crime victims received assistance from a victim service agency, which was similar to the percentage that received assistance in 2013.

• More than a quarter (28 percent) of intimate partner violence victims received assistance from a victim service agency.

• From 2013 to 2014, there were no significant changes in rates of violent crime across urban, suburban and rural areas.

The report, Criminal Victimization, 2014 (NCJ 248973), was written by BJS statisticians Jennifer L. Truman and Lynn Langton. Findings are based on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS is the largest data collection on nonfatal 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.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.