FBI Releases 2007 Crime Statistics
After rising for two straight years, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation declined from the previous years total. The declining trend continued for property crimes, as those offenses were down for the fifth year in a row.
Statistics released in September by the FBI show that the estimated volume of violent crime was down 0.7 percent, and the estimated volume of property crime decreased 1.4 percent in 2007 when compared with 2006 figures. The estimated rate of violent crime was 466.9 occurrences per 100,000 inhabitants (a 1.4 percent decrease from the 2006 rate), and the estimated rate of property crime was 3,263.5 per 100,000 inhabitants (a 2.1 percent decline).
The FBI presented these data in the 2007 edition of Crime in the United States, a statistical compilation of offense and arrest data as reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. The FBI collected these data via the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.
Highlight: The number of justifiable homicides committed by police and private citizens has been rising in the past two years to their highest levels in more than a decade.
The 391 killings by police that were ruled justifiable in 2007 were the most since 1994, FBI statistics show. The 254 killings by private individuals found to be self-defense were the most since 1997.
The FBI says a homicide committed by a private citizen is justified when a person is slain during the commission of a felony, such as a burglary or robbery. Police are justified, the FBI says, when felons are killed while the officer is acting in the line of duty. Rulings on these deaths are usually made by the local police agencies involved.
A summary of the crime statistics presented in Crime in the United States, 2007 follows:
* There were an estimated 1,408,337 violent crimes reported nationwide in 2007.
* All four of the violent crime offenses declined in 2007 when compared with figures from 2006. The estimated number of forcible rapes declined 2.5 percent; the estimated number of murders and nonnegligent manslaughters dropped 0.6 percent; and the estimated number of aggravated assaults also decreased by 0.6 percent. The estimated number of robberies decreased 0.5 percent in 2007 when compared with 2006 data.
* The FBI estimated that law enforcement agencies nationwide made 14,209,365 arrests in 2007, excluding those for traffic offenses.
* The arrest rate for violent crime was 200.2 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants; for property crime, the rate was 544.1 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants.
* The rate of arrests for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter in 2007 was 4.5 per 100,000 in population. The rate of arrests for forcible rape was 7.7; for robbery, 42.9; and for aggravated assault, 145.1.