The downturn in victimisation continues in the United States of America


The data of the National Crime Victimization Survey 2014 published by the Department of Justice of the USA confirms the downward trend which began in the early 90s and which, despite some rises (2006 and 2012), has been consolidated. The survey interviewed 158,090 people over 12 from 90,380 households.

Violent crime (which includes death-related crime) has decreased slightly since the previous year (20.1 x 1.000 compared to 23.2 the previous year), but compared with 2005 data, it has risen to 8.3 (in 2005 violent victimisation was 28.4 per 1,000). If we go back to 1993, it reached 50 points, as it had risen to over 75 per 1,000. If we refer to overall figures, this means that in 2014 nearly three million people over 12 (of a total of 266,665,160) were victims, at the very least, of violent crime.

It is of interest to note this downward trend is not so eloquent in reference to victimisations involving firearms, which in 2005 amounted to 503,530 cases and in 2014 still reached 466,110 cases. This constitutes a notable increase compared with the previous year, when firearm-related victimisation stood at 332,950. This means that the violent victimisation which is most on the decrease is that which does not involve firearms, as it remains stable and the downward trend over recent years is much slighter, although there are regular upturns.

Victimisation involving property also sees a downturn, a little more marked in this case, as in 2013 there were 131.4 victimisations for each 1,000 households and in 2014 it fell to 118.1 for each 1.000 households. If we go back to 2005, this victimisation amounted to180 cases per 1,000 households, but if we go as far back as 1993 we see that it applies to 350 households of every 1,000. Hence, from 1993 to 2014, affected households went down by two thirds and amounted to a third of the cases detected at the outset. In overall terms, in 2014 almost 10.4 million households suffered crime against property.

The rate at which cases of victimisation are reported to the police remains stable. Cases of violent crime have therefore gone from 45.6% in 2013 to 46% in 2014 (in 2005 it was 45.8%). Reporting crime against property also remained stable and stood at 37% in 2014, 36.1% the previous year and 38.7% in 2005. The lack of difference between the rate at which violent crime and crime against property are reported is noticeable in a European context.

If you wish to access more detailed data, this is available in the document Criminal Victimization, 2014

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