|U.S. Crime Index Increases, FBI Reports|
The National Crime Index increased 2.1 percent in 2001 from 2000, representing the first year-to-year increase since 1991, reports the FBI. However, when looking at 5- and 10-year trends, crime was down 10.2 percent when compared to 1997 data and down 17.9 percent when compared to 1992 statistics.
Serving as a measure of the level and scope of the American crime experience, the FBI's index reports four violent crimes (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and three property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft).
The estimated total number of Crime Index offenses for 2001 was 11,849,006. This number reflects an increase of 2.1 percent from the 2000 estimate of 11,608,070.
Final data released by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in the annual publication Crime in the United States, 2001 indicate that:
- The estimated 11.8 million Crime Index offenses (murder, rape, robbery,
aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in the
Nation in 2001 represented a 2.1-percent increase over the 2000 estimate,
the first year-to-year increase since 1991.
- Estimated violent crime in 2001 rose 0.8 percent over 2000 estimates.
Estimated aggravated assault volumes decreased 0.5-percent from 2000 data.
Robberies increased 3.7 percent, murders rose 2.5 percent, and forcible
rapes increased 0.3 percent in volume.
- An estimated 15,980 murders occurred in the United States in 2001, a
2.5-percent increase over the 2000 estimate. However, a 5-year trend
reflected a 12.2-percent decline from the 1997 estimate.
- Approximately 42.3 percent of murder victims knew their assailants. Nearly
a third of all female victims were slain by a husband or boyfriend.
- Estimated property crimes were up 2.3 percent over 2000 estimates. Motor
vehicle thefts increased 5.7 percent, burglaries rose 2.9 percent, and
larceny-thefts increased 1.5 percent.
- Hate crime data were provided by 11,987 law enforcement agencies. The
9,726 hate crime incidents reported in 2001 involved 11,447 separate
offenses, 12,016 victims, and 9,231 known offenders.
- Law enforcement made an estimated 13.7 million arrests for criminal offenses (excluding traffic violations) in 2001.
American's Weapons of Choice?
What weapons do Americans prefer when using them to commit violent crimes? According to the Unified Crime Index, "personal weapons" -- hands, fists and feet -- were used in 31.1 percent of violent crimes. Other dangerous weapons, like golf clubs, hammers and baseball bats were used in 27.8 percent of violent crimes. Firearms were involved in 26.2 percent of violent crimes, and knives and other cutting instruments in 14.9 percent.
Where the Data Comes From
In 2001, the nearly 17,000 city, county, and state law enforcement agencies that provided data to the Crime Reporting System represented 92 percent of the total U.S. population. Crime data is reported by cities with over 10,000 inhabitants, suburban and rural counties, and colleges and universities.
What About the September 11 Attacks?
Realizing that the events of September 11, 2001 would have unacceptably skewed the statistical data, the crimes committed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are not included in the Uniform Crime Report. Information regarding the September attacks are provided in a special report titled The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001: A Compilation of Data.