Crime in America drops for fourth straight year

Crime has fallen again

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released today its annual report on crime in America in 2010 and, in a continuing trend now four years running — and really a long downward arc since the 1990s — crime is down across the board.

Murder is down 4.2 percent. Rape is down five percent. Aggravated assault is down 4.1 percent. Burglary’s down two percent. Arson? A 7.6 percent decline.

Criminologists sometimes peg high unemployment with higher crime rates. But that didn’t happen in the sluggish growth of 2010. I welcome your theories as to what’s going on there.

Some other tidbits from the FBI:

  • Total number of crimes reported: 10,329,135 (1,246,248 violent crimes and 9,082,887 property crimes);
  • Most common violent crime: aggravated assault (62.5 percent of all violent crimes during 2010);
  • Most common property crime: larceny-theft (68.2 percent of all property crimes during 2010);
  • Top three crimes for which law enforcement reported arrests: drug abuse violations (1,638,846), driving while intoxicated (1,412,223), and larceny-theft (1,271,410);
  • Total number of arrests, excluding traffic violations: 13,120,947, including 552,077 for violent crimes and 1,643,962 for property crimes (the number of arrests doesn’t reflect the number of individuals arrested—some individuals may have been arrested more than once);
  • Most common characteristics of arrestees: 74.5 percent of arrestees were male, and 69.4 percent of arrestees were white;
  • How often firearms were used in crimes: in 67.5 percent of reported murders, 41.4 percent of reported robberies, and 20.6 percent of aggravated assaults; and
  • Total losses for victims of property crimes, excluding arsons: an estimated $15.7 billion.

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