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Crime in the United States - 1992.

Final 1992 crime statistics, published in the FBI's Crime in the United States--1992, show that an estimated 14.4 million offenses were reported to law enforcement agencies across the Nation. This total represents an average of 5,660 crimes for every 100,000 U.S. inhabitants.

The statistics, based on a Crime Index of selected violent and property offenses reported to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, cover 95 percent of the population. Over 16,000 law enforcement agencies submitted data for 1992, and estimates are included for nonreporting areas.

Volume of Crime

Overall crime reported in 1992, as measured by the Index, was 3 percent lower than in 1991, which represents the first annual decline since 1984. The number of offenses, however, was 4 percent higher than in 1988 and 19 percent above the 1983 total.

Collectively, violent crime increased by 1 percent during 1992. The number of property crimes, however, declined 4 percent overall.

Except for the West, all regions in the Nation showed decreases in the number of offenses reported from 1991 to 1992. The Northeast registered a 6-percent decline; the Midwest, a 5-percent decline; and the South, a 3-percent decline. The West showed a less-than- 1-percent increase.

Cities and suburban counties, like the Nation as a whole, each experienced a 3-percent decline in the number of Crime Index offenses reported. Rural counties registered a 1-percent decrease.

Crime Clearances

Law enforcement personnel nationwide cleared 21 percent of the Crime Index offenses recorded in 1992. The clearance rate was 45 percent for violent crimes and 18 percent for property crimes.

The highest clearance rate was for murder, at 65 percent; the lowest for burglary, at 13 percent. Offenses where offenders were all under 18 years of age resulted in 20 percent of the overall Crime Index clearances, 13 percent of the violent crime clearances, and 23 percent of the property crime clearances. Arrests

During 1992, law enforcement personnel made an estimated 14 million arrests for all crimes other than traffic violations. The highest arrest counts were for driving under the influence, 1.6 million; larceny-theft, 1.5 million; and simple assault and drug abuse violations, each 1.1 million.

The total number of arrests in 1992 declined less than 1 percent from the previous year. Overall Crime Index arrests dropped 2 percent. Arrests for violent crimes rose by 2 percent, while property crime arrests declined 3 percent.

Of those arrested in 1992, 45 percent were under the age of 25, 81 percent were male, and 68 percent were white. Larceny-theft was the offense that resulted in the most arrests of persons under the age of 18, while adults were most often arrested for driving under the influence.

Violent Crimes

The total number of violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) reported to law enforcement during 1992 exceeded 1.9 million offenses, for a rate of 758 for every 100,000 U.S. inhabitants. This represents a 1-percent increase from the 1991 total.

Both murder and robbery registered declines of 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively. However, forcible rape was up 2 percent, and aggravated assault showed a 3-percent increase.

Data on weapons show that firearms were used in 31 percent of all murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) were used in another 31 percent.

Murder--Murder counts for 1992 totaled 23,760, a 4-percent drop from the record-setting 1991 level. Firearms were used to commit approximately 7 of every 10 murders.

Based on supplemental data, 78 percent of the murder victims were male, and 88 percent were persons 18 years of age or older. By race, 50 of every 100 victims were black, and 48 were white.

Almost 50 percent of the murder victims were related to or acquainted with their assailants. Among female murder victims, 29 percent were killed by husbands or boyfriends.

Data show that of the 25,180 murder offenders, 90 percent were male, and 86 percent were over 18 years of age. Fifty-five percent of the offenders were black, and 43 percent were white.

Forcible Rape--Forcible rapes reported to law enforcement in 1992 totaled 109,062. In Uniform Crime Reports, the victims of forcible rape are always female, and in 1992, an estimated 84 of every 100,000 females in the country were reported rape victims.

Robbery--In 1992, law enforcement agencies recorded 672,478 robberies, with robberies on the streets and highways accounting for 56 percent of the total. The monetary value loss was estimated at $565 million. Bank robberies resulted in the highest average loss, $3,325 per offense; convenience store robberies the lowest, $402.

Strong-arm tactics were used to commit 40 percent of all robberies, and firearms were used in another 40 percent. Comparison of the 1991 and 1992 robbery totals revealed that those committed with firearms were up by 2 percent. All other weapon categories showed decreases.

Aggravated Assault--With a total of 1,126,974 reported offenses, aggravated assaults comprised 58 percent of the violent crimes reported in 1992. Blunt objects or other dangerous weapons were used in 31 percent of these offenses. Assaults by firearms accounted for 25 percent of the total, while those involving personal weapons, such as hands, fists, and feet, accounted for 26 percent. Knives and cutting instruments were used in the remainder of the offenses.

Property Crimes

The estimated property crimes total in 1992 was 12.5 million offenses, lot a rate of 4,903 for every 100,000 U.S. inhabitants. Total dollar losses due to property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) were estimated at $15.2 billion, or $1,217 per reported offense.

All property crimes showed decreases in 1992. Burglary was down 6 percent, while larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft each declined 3 percent.

Burglary--Law enforcement received reports of 3 million burglaries, of which 2 of every 3 were of residences. According to a special UCR study, 1 of every 3 residences in the United States will be burglarized at least once during a 20-year period.

Sixty-nine percent of all burglaries involved forcible entry, and the offenses were evenly divided between day and night. Burglary victims suffered losses estimated at $3.8 billion.

Larceny-theft--Larceny-thefts accounted for 63 percent of all property crimes reported in 1992. In addition, this crime, with an estimated total of 7.9 million offenses, comprised 55 percent of the Crime Index total.

Thefts of motor vehicle parts, accessories, and contents made up the largest portion (37 percent) of reported larcenies. Nationally, total losses were estimated at $3.8 billion, with the average value of property stolen at $483 per incident.

Motor Vehicle Theft--Over 1.6 million motor vehicles, or an average of 1 in every 120 registered vehicles, were reported stolen in 1992. Eighty percent of these motor vehicles were automobiles. The estimated monetary loss was nearly $7.6 billion, for an average of $4,713 per vehicle.

According to a special UCR study, there is a 9-percent chance that car owners will have their vehicles stolen at least once in a 10-year period. In addition, the likelihood of having a car stolen increases in direct proportion to the number of vehicles owned.

Arson--Of the 102,009 arson offenses reported in 1992, structures were the most frequent targets, comprising 54 percent of the total. Residential property was involved in 59 percent of the structural arsons during the year.

The average dollar loss for reported arsons was $16,649, a substantial increase from the 1991 average of $11,980. Large losses resulting from arsons committed during the Los Angeles riots greatly influenced the 1992 average.

Of the arsons cleared, 42 percent involved only young people under age 18. This represents a higher percentage of juvenile involvement than for any other Index offense.

Source: Crime in the United States--1992, Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC.
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Title Annotation:Crime Data
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Date:Nov 1, 1993
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