FBI Crime Statistics
FBI’s crime statistics for 2017 reveals that violent crimes in America fell by 0.6% while property crimes fell by 3%.
The classification of violent crimes encompasses crimes such as rape, robbery, aggravated assault, non-negligent manslaughter, and murder. Property crimes include offenses such as larceny-theft, burglary, arson, and motor vehicle theft. The report is a reflection of data gotten from about sixteen thousand law enforcement bodies all across the nation.
In 2017, there were reportedly 7,694,086 property crimes as compared to the 2016 record of 7,928,530. For 2017, there were 1,247,321 violent crimes compared to 2016 record of 1,250,162.
For property crimes, there was a decrease in burglary by 7.6%, 2.2% decrease in larceny-theft, although there was a 0.8% increase in thefts of a motor vehicle over the period. For violent crimes, robberies accounted for about 25.6% of offenses in the violent crime category, there was 8.0% record for rape while murder came in at 1.4%.
This final report tallies with the statistics released earlier in January that highlighted the crime metrics in the US from January up till June 2017. The released statistics showed a decline in offenses classified as the violent crime while there was a rise in the rate of homicide. The fall in murder and violent crime last year was reportedly the first time a drop was recorded in the two classifications since 2014.
In 2016, the murder rate was at 5.4/100.000 and it fell to 5.3/100,000 for 2017. In 2015, there had been a drastic 22% surge and in 2016 from a low of 4.4/100,000 recorded in 2014, it rose to 5.4/100,000 the following year. The 2017 fall did not completely reverse the previous increases, but it indicated the stabilization of things.
The rate of violent crime fell by nearly 1% last year as it dropped to 382.9/100,000 from a previous 2016 record of 386.6/100,000 people recorded in 2016. The rate of property crime maintained a steady decline last year because, from 2,451.6/100,000 people recorded in 2016, it dropped to 2.362.2/100,000 people last year. Unlike murder and violent crime rates, there was no increase in the rate of property crime in 2016 or 2015.
On a general outlook, the rates of murder and crime have been experiencing a downward progression in America for decades. This followed the massive murder and crime increase recorded in the 1960s up till the 1990s. The increase recorded in 2015, as well as 2016, caused some experts of criminal justice to express concern that the trends may be returning. However, the 2017 numbers could do so much in allaying their fears and concerns.
Although FBI hasn’t made known its numbers for this year, the data from a Justice advocacy group estimates that the murder and crime rates have declined in the thirty largest cities in America.
A decline in Murder Rate
The increase in murder rate raised a lot of concern in the two years preceding 2017. The increasing rate reportedly caused Trump as well as Sessions, to consistently refer to the rise in their speeches as justification for policies on crime.
However, before they have begun succeeding in the implementation of these policies, the rates seem to be dropping. According to a researcher at the Justice advocacy group, Ames Grawert, the idea that the Department of Justice together with the Presidency were the only bodies that control the several police departments carrying out the work of fighting crimes is somewhat unfair.
Sources claim that criminologists are still uncertain as to why there was an increase in the murder rate in 2016 and 2015. Some claimed that it could have been as a result of the Ferguson effect (a name gotten from the Missouri city which exploded in protests as a result of the police shooting Michael Brown). Experts who give this as the reason claim that as a result of the protests against brutality by police officers in the past years, the police were scared and couldn’t proactively carry out their policing functions and that made criminals bolder.
Other experts also argued on another angle to this Ferguson effect. They said that the widely reported cases of police brutality, as well as racial difference in the level of force used by the police, caused people to distrust them. That in turn that made it difficult for them to prevent and solve crimes.