CBSN

Crime Figures Rise Slightly

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CBS/AP
The number of serious crimes in America rose slightly in 2002 but remains well below the levels seen a decade ago, the FBI reported Monday.

The 11.9 million crimes reported to the FBI by city, county and state law enforcement agencies represented an increase of less than 1 percent when compared with 2001 figures. The number of crimes was 4.9 percent lower than in 1998 and 16 percent below 1993.

The 1.4 million violent crimes in 2002 represented a drop of just under 1 percent. Murders, however, rose by about 1 percent to 16,204. That number still is about a third lower than in 1993.

Burglaries, thefts, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts remained essentially flat. The FBI estimated that the total dollar loss from property crimes last year was $16.6 billion.

Using what it calls a "crime clock," the FBI estimates that a property crime occurs every 3 seconds in the United States and a violent crime every 22 seconds.

The FBI figures come from crime data reported by about 17,000 law enforcement agencies around the country. These crime reports differ from surveys of victims done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which earlier this year estimated that violent and property crimes had dropped to their lowest rates in 30 years.

Attorney General John Ashcroft has repeatedly cited the Justice Department report as evidence that tough sentencing policies and a focus on repeat offenders has made the nation safer.

The FBI report also shows that crime is down significantly compared with a decade ago and essentially unchanged from 2001 to 2002. The total increase reported from year to year is just a tenth of 1 percent.

Other significant findings of the FBI report:

  • Excluding minor traffic offenses, law enforcement officials made about 13.7 million arrests in 2002, for a rate of about 4,783 arrests per 100,000 U.S. inhabitants. Arrests for drug abuse and driving under the influence accounted for almost 22 percent.
  • Crime in cities was down 1.9 percent but up 1 percent in the suburbs. Rural areas saw a decrease of 1.2 percent in 2002.
  • About 71 percent of murders last year involved a firearm. Cutting instruments such as knives accounted for 13 percent, hands and feet 7.1 percent and blunt objects 5 percent.
  • There were about 95,100 forcible rapes in 2002, an increase of 4.7 percent.
  • For the ninth consecutive year, the number of aggravated assaults dropped. Overall, assaults are down by 21 percent compared with the 1993 level.
  • The 2.2 million burglaries reported in 2002 represented a 1.7 percent increase over 2001, with losses estimated at $3.3 billion last year. Only about 13 percent of burglaries resulted in arrests, the lowest of the seven major crimes measured by the FBI.


The number of crimes reported to police in 2001 and 2002, as
compiled by the FBI:
	   
State 2002 2001
Ala. 200,331 198,835
Alaska 27,745 26,895
Ariz. 348,467 322,549
Ark. 112,672 111,296
Calif. 1,384,872 1,346,557
Colo. 195,936 186,379
Conn. 103,719 106,791
Del. 31,803 32,267
D.C. 45,799 44,085
Fla. 905,957 913,230
Ga. 385,830 389,543
Hawaii 75,238 65,947
Idaho 42,547 41,392
Ill. 506,086 511,494
Ind. 230,966 234,282
Iowa 101,265 96,499
Kan. 110,997 116,446
Ky. 118,799 119,449
La. 228,528 238,371
Maine 34,381 34,588
Md. 259,120 261,600
Mass. 198,890 197,666
Mich. 389,366 407,777
Minn. 177,454 178,191
Miss. 119,442 119,615
Mo. 261,077 268,883
Mont. 31,948 33,362
Neb. 73,606 74,144
Nev. 97,752 89,845
N.H. 28,306 29,233
N.J. 259,789 273,645
N.M. 94,196 97,383
N.Y. 537,121 556,106
N.C. 392,826 404,242
N.D. 15,258 15,339
Ohio 469,104 475,138
Okla. 165,715 159,405
Ore. 171,443 175,174
Pa. 350,446 363,840
R.I. 38,393 39,020
S.C. 217,569 193,103
S.D. 17,342 17,644
Tenn. 290,961 295,770
Texas 1,130,292 1,098,809
Utah 103,129 96,307
Vt. 15,600 16,978
Va. 229,039 228,445
Wash. 309,931 308,492
W.Va. 45,320 46,120
Wis. 176,987 179,410
Wyo. 17,858 17,392
U.S. 11,877,218 11,876,669

By Curt Anderson