FBI Preliminary Numbers Show an Increase in Violent Crime
This week, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) released preliminary statistics that show the number of violent crimes committed across the country increased in the first half of 2015 as compared with the first half of 2014.
While the overall violent crime rate in the United States has significantly decreased over the last two decades – from 79.8 victimizations per 1,000 people in 1993 to 20.1 per 1,000 in 2014 – following two consecutive years of declines, the U.S. saw a 1.7 percent uptick in overall violent crimes within the first 6 months of 2015. The number of murders, rapes, assaults and robberies were all up during the first half of the year as compared to the previous.
Overall, murders rose 6.2 percent in the first 6 months of last year, largely due to increases in two parts of the country: the Midwest, which saw a 9.9 percent rise, and the South, which saw an 8.6 percent increase. The Northeast and the West saw increases of 1.3% and 1.6% from 2014, respectively.
Among other violent crimes, the number of aggravated assaults increased 2.3 percent and the number of rapes under a previous definition increased 9.6 percent, while rapes under a revised definition increased 1.1 percent. Rape was previously defined as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will,” only counting men having sex with women without their consent. The revised definition now encompasses other forms of sexual assault, including oral penetration and rape of men.
In a prepared statement, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said that "it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions" and "overall violent crime rates remain historically low."
These preliminary figures are a part of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, which assess data collected through voluntary participation of more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies. These statistics came from more than 12,000 agencies that submitted comparable data for the first six months of 2014 and 2015.
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