The nation’s murder and rape totals rose last year, while overall violent crime reports were down slightly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said today. In its annual Uniform Crime Report, the FBI said murders increased 1 percent, to 16,204, and forcible rapes were up 4.7 percent, to 95,136. It was the third consecutive annual increase for rape reports.
The number of serious reported crimes–a broader category also known as “index” offenses–rose by a minuscule total from 2001, to 11,877,218 from 11,876,669. When population is factored in, the serious crime rate dropped 1.1 percent. The FBI’s report includes only crimes reported to authorities. The Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes estimates of crimes not reported, has reported victimization decreases in recent years.
Reported property crimes were up slightly overall, the FBI said. Burglaries and auto thefts increased but larcenies dropped. The report includes a count of sniper-related deaths over a 20-year span that ended in 1981, the year before the sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area.
A crude indicator of law enforcement activity is the arrest total, which increased slightly last year, including an increase in arrests for drug law violations. Only 20 percent of overall serious crimes were “cleared” by an arrest, up from 19.6 percent in 2001.