A recent FBI report reveals that violent crime statistics experienced a significant dip in 2010. This represents the fourth consecutive year that such violent criminal charges in the United States have decreased.
In 2010, violent crimes across the country dropped by 6 percent. This figure may not sound overly impressive, but it represents a decrease in thousands of serious crimes.
The Violent Crime Report
Each year, the federal government releases a report titled “Crime in the United States,” which gives findings based on data collected from more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country.
The agencies that offer crime data include groups at the city, county, college, state, federal, and tribal levels.
According to the FBI, a total of 10.3 million crimes were reported in 2010. Of these crimes, roughly 1.2 million were considered to be violent crimes.
The most common violent crime, by a wide margin, was aggravated assault, which constituted roughly 62.5 percent of all violent criminal arrests.
In a statement released in conjunction with the report, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr, said that keeping communities safe is the “foundation of our nation’s prosperity and I have made it a priority of this Department of Justice to protect the American public by aggressively fighting violent crime.”
Holder further stated that the reduction in violent crime is partially attributable to the Justice Department’s efforts to tackle organized crime.
“We’ve targeted gang leadership in communities from Florida to New York, and from Tennessee to North Carolina. We’ve renewed our commitment to fighting organized crime, whether it is traditional La Cosa Nostra or Mexican drug cartels,” said Holder.
Property Crime Also Fell in 2010
While violent acts only accounted for a small number of total crimes in 2010, roughly 9 million more crimes were defined as property crimes.
This high figure, however, does not reveal the fact that property crime fell 2.7 percent from 2009.
While this drop is not as pronounced as the decline in violent crime, property crime has been falling for a longer period of time. According to the report, this is the eighth consecutive year in which property crime declined.
Larceny and theft were the most popular property crimes, as they accounted for 68.2 percent of all non-violent crimes.
The most common crimes overall were drug crimes, which accounted for 1.6 million arrests. Drug abuse violations were followed by arrests for driving while intoxicated, which occurred 1.4 million times in 2010.
While crimes continue to decline, they still pose a heavy cost for law-abiding citizens. The FBI report estimated that victims of these crimes suffered a total loss of round $15.7 billion.
The figures do not come as a surprise, as U.S. crime statistics have seen a steady downward trajectory for the past several years. Still, state and federal law enforcement officials can take some pride in the declining criminal arrest statistics.