Preliminary figures indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported a decrease of 5.4 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first 6 months of 2013 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2012. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The number of property crimes in the United States from January to June of 2013 decreased 5.4 percent when compared with data for the same time period in 2012. Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Arson is also a property crime, but data for arson are not included in property crime totals. Figures for 2013 indicate that arson decreased 15.6 percent when compared to 2012 figures from the same time period.
The data presented in Tables 1 and 2 indicate the percent change in offenses known to law enforcement for the first 6 months of 2013 compared to those for the first half of 2012 by population group and region, respectively. Table 3 reflects the percent change in offenses reported within the nation for consecutive years (each year compared to the prior year). Table 4 presents the number of offenses known to law enforcement for agencies with resident populations of 100,000 or more that provided 6 months of complete data for 2013. In addition, Table 4 presents 6 months of 2012 data, where available, as a point of comparison. All data in this Report are preliminary.
In 2013, the FBI UCR Program initiated collection of data under a new definition for forcible rape within the Summary Based Reporting System. The term “forcible” was removed, and the definition changed to “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Only data compatible with the historical definition of forcible rape were published in Tables 1-3. However, all rape data—whether submitted under the historical definition or the new definition by agencies 100,000 and more in population—are presented in Table 4; agencies that reported under the new definition are referenced with a footnote.
Figures used in this Report were submitted voluntarily by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Individuals using these tabulations are cautioned against drawing conclusions by making direct comparisons between cities. Comparisons lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. It is important to remember that crime is a social problem and, therefore, a concern of the entire community. The efforts of law enforcement are limited to factors within its control. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual agencies. Further information on this topic can be obtained in the annual UCR report Crime in the United States, 2012.
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Report issued by James B. Comey, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20535
Advisory: Criminal Justice Information Systems Committee, International Association of Chiefs of Police; Criminal Justice Information Services Committee, National Sheriffs’ Association; Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board