Crime Victims Updates




Victimization Rates Are Increasing — Or Are They Decreasing???

Are the ranks of new victims going up or down in recent years?

What do the official statistics for 2011 show?

Provides the latest figures that can be used to extend the graph depicting trends: see Figure 3.2 on p. 77.

Victimologists monitor crime trends in two ways: by looking at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which assembles each year the number of incidents reported to the nation’s police departments; and by observing how many people tell the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) that they were harmed by a street crime.

The problem of victimization got worse during 2011, according to the NCVS. The number of violent incidents disclosed to the NCVS went up 17% and thefts rose 11% from 2010 to 2011. A one year increase certainly does not constitute a trend, but these substantial jumps seem troubling. See the latest NCVS report here.

But, perhaps victimization is not growing as a problem…

Victimization trends continued to drift downward, according to the FBI’s UCR report for 2011. The number of violent incidents reported to the nation’s police forces decreased for the fifth year in a row, and the number of property crimes brought to the authorities’ attention declined for the ninth year in a row. See the 2011 UCR report here.

As noted on p.  in crime victims, the federal government’s two monitoring systems usually point in the same direction. But for 2011, there are mixed signals. Those who want to contend that crime is making a comeback can point to the findings of the NCVS. Those who want to argue that the problem of victimization continues to decline can cite the statistics contained in the UCR.

See Figures 3. and 3. for graphs of the trends over the last several decades in both of these official sources of data about the number of persons harmed by criminals (rates per 1000 (NCVS) and rates per 100,000 (UCR).

Crime Rates Rose During The First Half of 2012, UCR Figures Indicate

Violent crime increased by almost 2% and property crime went up by 1.5% from January to June 2012 compared to the same six months in 2011, according to the FBI. However, the number of murders dropped by 1.7%. Read the UCR report here.

Hate Crime Statistics For 2011 Released By The FBI

Provides the latest figures to update the analysis based on 2010 statistics appearing on pp. 353.

Almost half of all the reported interpersonal incidents were acts of intimidation and more than one-third were simple assaults. Four murders and seven forcible rapes were motivated by the offender’s hatred for the victim’s “kind of person.”

Read about the report’s highlights in a FBI press release here.

New Data About Comparative Mortality Rates For 17 Countries

Specifies What Caused Premature Deaths

Furnishes some additional details about “comparative risks” as discussed on pp. 81-82; see Figure 3.4.

Automobile accidents, gun violence, and drug overdoses are among the leading reasons why Americans under the age of 50 have higher mortality rates than their counterparts in other highly industrialized societies, according to a new study. Read the newspaper article summarizing the findings here.


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