Violent crime reports in the U.S. fell 3.8 percent last year and property crime reports went down .5 percent, the FBI said today in its final report of crime statistics for 2011. The figures were close to the preliminary numbers issued in June, which reported a 4 percent drop in violent crimes and a .8 decline in property crimes. The report differs from the National Crime Victimization Survey put out by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, which reported a 17 percent increase in violent crimes, including the many crimes not reported to law enforcement.
By the FBI’s count, which includes numbers reported by local law enforcement agencies, violent crime reports were down for the fifth consecutive year. Among reported crimes, the FBI said murders were down .7 percent, rapes 2.5 percent, robberies 4.0 percent and aggravated assaults 3.9 percent. It was the assault totals that specifically conflicted with the crime victimization survey, which attributed the violent crime increase to a big rise in assaults, including “simple assaults” in which there was no weapon used and there were no injuries. The FBI said today there were 12.4 million arrests in the U.S. last year, excluding traffic violations. This compares with 13.3 million arrests in 2010.