A slight rise in violent crime in the USA: a changing trend?

According to the biannual report of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the USA, coordinated by the FBI, between January and June 2015 there was a 1.7% increase in violent crime, which suggests a changing trend, as the same period of the previous two years showed a fall (of 5.4% and 4.6%). The crimes included in this context experience a range of variations. For example, homicides increased by 6% and rape, 1.1%.1) Robbery with violence remained virtually the same (with a slight rise of 0.3%) and grievous bodily harm increased by 2.3%.

22_car-vehicle-driving-motionOn the other hand, crime against property saw a drop of 4.2% compared to the same period of the previous year. The biggest fall corresponded to burglaries, which fell by 9.8%, whereas theft fell by 3.2%. Finally, car theft increased slightly (by 1%). Arson is not included, although it is obviously a crime against property, because the results obtained show excessive fluctuations, which suggests there were mistakes made when gathering information.

Concerning the territorial spread of crime, it seems that the region with the biggest reduction is the North East, with cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington. Violent crime therefore drops by 3.2%, mainly because of a marked drop in the incidence of robbery with violence (6.4%) and grievous bodily harm (2.4%), as other types have seen a slight rise. In this region, crime against property has fallen by 8%, a very significant reduction. The drop in burglaries of 15.4% is also noteworthy.

The western region, with cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, is the one which would appear to present the worst figures, as violent crime like crime against property saw rises of 5.6% and 2.4%, respectively. Apart from burglaries, which saw a drop of 4.6%, all other categories experienced rises.

The other two regions (mid-west and south) saw slight rises in violent crime, of 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively. The rise in homicides of 9.9% in the mid-west and 8.6% in the south is noteworthy. On the other hand, crime against property sees a drop of 7% in the mid-west and 6.4% in the south, mainly due to the big decrease in burglaries, of 11.0 and 11.2% respectively, although other categories also show a downward trend.

The complete report corresponding to 2015 needs to be seen before this trend can be confirmed. The Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the FBI biannual report can be accessed on its website.

1) However, in the context of rape, statistics cannot be compared over long periods because the definition applicable has been changed.

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