The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual crime statistics report today, and the good news is that the rate of violent crime is down across the country, and in Metro Louisville as well. According to the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, the nation experienced a 5.5 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes in 2010 when compared with data from 2009. The report is based on information the FBI gathered from 13,007 law enforcement agencies that submitted six to 12 comparable months of data for both 2009 and 2010.
Here in Louisville, total violent crime was down slightly (3,734 in 2010, from 3,769 in 2009), and the number of murders dropped from 62 to 52. There was only one less forcible rape (229/230), along with a drop in aggravated assaults (1,850/1,907).
On the other hand, property crimes in the Metro area were up to 29,551, from 2009’s 26,907. Included in that figure were burglaries (up 7,571 from 7,085), larcenies (20,005/18,094), and motor vehicle thefts (1,975/1,728). Arsons were down slightly, from 239 in 2009 to 223 last year.
Nationally, in 2010, all four of the violent crime offense categories—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—declined nationwide compared with data from 2009. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 4.4 percent, forcible rape decreased 4.2 percent, robbery declined 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault was down 3.6 percent.
Violent crime declined in all city groups. Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 saw the greatest decline in violent crime (6.9 percent). Violent crime in non-metropolitan counties decreased 6.4 percent, and in metropolitan counties, it declined 6.0 percent.
All city and county groupings experienced a decline in forcible rapes except in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants, which showed the only rise in forcible rapes (1.9 percent). Robbery offenses decreased in all city and county groupings, with the largest decrease (10.9 percent) reported in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants.
Aggravated assaults decreased in all city groups. Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants experienced the greatest decrease (5.5 percent). Aggravated assaults declined in both county groups, with the largest decrease (5.8 percent) reported in non-metropolitan counties.
Violent crime decreased in all four regions of the country in 2010. There was a 7.5 percent decrease in violent crime in the South, a 5.9 decline in the Midwest, a 5.8 percent decrease in the West, and a 0.4 percent decline in the Northeast.
Across the country, all property crime offense categories—burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft—decreased in 2010 when compared with 2009 data. Motor vehicle theft showed the largest drop (7.2 percent), followed by larceny-theft, which decreased 2.8 percent, and burglary, which declined 1.1 percent. Metro Louisville appears to be one of the exceptions to that general trend.
Property crime decreased in all city groupings. Cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants had the greatest decrease in property crime (4.0 percent). Property crime decreased 1.9 percent in metropolitan counties but increased 2.0 percent in non-metropolitan counties.
Burglary offenses increased 1.3 percent in cities with 25,000 to 49,999 persons. Burglaries also increased in nonmetropolitan counties by 1.2 percent. Larceny-theft offenses decreased in all city groupings. However, in non-metropolitan counties, larceny-thefts rose 3.2 percent.
Motor vehicle thefts declined in all population groupings. Cities with less than 10,000 inhabitants experienced the greatest decline (10.8 percent). Metropolitan counties reported a 6.9 percent decrease in motor vehicle thefts. Arson offenses, tracked separately from other property crimes, decreased 8.3 percent nationwide. Arson offenses declined in all four regions in 2010, with the West experiencing the largest decrease (13.9 percent).
All four of the nation’s regions had decreases in property crime in 2010 when compared with data from 2009. The greatest decrease in 2010 was in the South, where property crime was down 3.8 percent, followed by a 2.7 percent decline in the Midwest, a 2.5 percent decrease in the West, and a 0.5 percent decrease in the Northeast.
The complete Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report is available exclusively at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/preliminary-annual-ucr-jan-dec-2010/.