The FBI estimates the number of violent crimes in the U.S. declined for the second year in a row, according to figures released Monday. Overall property crimes also dropped in 2008, marking the sixth straight year of decline.
The estimated number of violent crimes overall declined 1.9 percent, while the number of offenses per 100,000 people declined 2.7 percent from 2007.
The estimated volume of property crimes decreased 0.8 percent in 2008 when compared with 2007 estimates — a drop of 1.6 percent per capita for the year.
For each of the four violent crime offenses, the 2008 estimates declined when compared with estimates for 2007. The murder and nonnegligent manslaughter estimate dropped 3.9 percent; aggravated assault declined 2.5 percent; forcible rape declined 1.6 percent; and robbery was down 0.7 percent.
The data are presented in the 2008 edition of the FBI’s annual publication Crime in the United States, a statistical compilation of offense and arrest data as reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.The data showed that 23.3 percent of murder victims last year were slain by family members, and 54.7 percent were killed by acquaintances, leaving only 22 percent murdered by strangers.
The UCR Program compiles offense and arrest data for violent and property crimes. Violent crimes are the offenses of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; property crimes are the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft.
Nearly 17,800 city, county, college and university, state, tribal, and federal agencies participated in the UCR Program in 2008. These agencies represented 94.9 percent of the nation’s population.