FBI: Violent crimes fall for 4th year in row

WASHINGTON (CBS News) -- The FBI reported Monday that the estimated number of violent crimes in the United States fell in 2010, the fourth consecutive year of decline.

Property crimes also fell for the eighth straight year.

The data was part of the FBI's annual report, Crime in the United States, a compilation of offense and arrest data as reported by law enforcement agencies that take part in the Justice Department's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.

Crime in the United States - 2010 (FBI)

The UCR program collects and analyzes data on murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

The program also collects arrest data for these and other offenses.

Last year 18,108 municipal, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies participated in the UCR program.

Crime in 2010:

  • The estimated volumes of violent and property crimes declined 6.0 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, when compared with the 2009 estimates.

  • Compared to 2009 estimates, each of the four violent crime offenses declined, with the largest decrease in Robbery (a drop of 10.0 percent). Forcible rape fell by 5.0 percent; murder and nonnegligent manslaughter by 4.2 percent; and aggravated assault by 4.1 percent.

  • Nationwide there were an estimated 9,082,887 property crimes last year.

  • Each category of property crime decreased in 2010 compared to 2009: Motor vehicle thefts fell by 7.4 percent, burglaries by 2.0 percent, and larceny-thefts by 2.4 percent.

  • Arson offenses decreased 7.6 percent in 2010, although differences in reporting among agencies means arson offenses are excluded from total property crime figures.

  • Collectively, property crimes (excluding arson) cost victims an estimated $15.7 billion in 2010.

Arrests:

  • Excluding traffic violations, there were an estimated 13.1 million arrests nationwide.

  • There were 552,077 arrests for violent crimes, and 1,643,962 arrests for property crimes.

  • Trends show arrests for violent crimes fell 5.3 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.

  • Arrests for property crimes decreased 4.7 percent.

  • Drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,638,846) accounted for the highest number of arrests, or more than 12 percent of all arrests in the U.S. Nearly as many - 1,412,223 arrests - were for driving under the influence. Together they account for nearly 24 percent of all arrests, or one in four.

  • An estimated arrest rate for the United States in 2010 was 4,257.6 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Reduced staff:

  • Law enforcement agencies are doing more with less. In 2010, according to staffing data reported from 14,744 city and county agencies, there were 705,009 sworn officers and 308,599 civilian employees in law enforcement for a total of 1,013,608 - a rate of 3.5 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.

  • In 2009 14,614 agencies reported 706,886 sworn officers and 314,570 civilian employees, a total of 1,021,456.

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