Government: Violent crimes rose 18 percent in 2011

  • Patrick McCullough displays the .380 caliber pistol he shot 16 year-old Melvin McHenry with, at his home on the north side of Oakland, CA, Wednesday July 20, 2005,  and talks about his experiences living there. As people like Patrick and his family deal with drug dealers and other violent crime, events on this tough neighborhood street came to a violent climax  on February 18, 2005. According to McCullough, he shot and wounded 16 year-old Melvin McHenry as McHenry and other youths were attacking him in his front yard, when he believed McHenry was reaching for a friend's gun. Some neighbors and even Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown have come out to support him.  He says he and his family refuse to give in and move away. ( Rod Lamkey Jr. / The Washington Times )  Patrick McCullough displays the .380 caliber pistol he shot 16 year-old Melvin McHenry with, at his home on the north side of Oakland, CA, Wednesday July 20, 2005, and talks about his experiences living there. As people like Patrick and his family deal with drug dealers and other violent crime, events on this tough neighborhood street came to a violent climax on February 18, 2005. According to McCullough, he shot and wounded 16 year-old Melvin McHenry as McHenry and other youths were attacking him in his front yard, when he believed McHenry was reaching for a friend's gun. Some neighbors and even Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown have come out to support him. He says he and his family refuse to give in and move away. ( Rod Lamkey Jr. / The Washington Times )
  • Standing outside of his gated front door, Patrick McCullough looks over his shoulder as he exits his home on 59th Street, on the north side of Oakland, CA, Wednesday July 20, 2005, and talks about his experiences living there. As people like Patrick and his family deal with drug dealers and other crime, events on this tough neighborhood street came to a violent climax  on February 18, 2005. According to McCullough, he shot and wounded 16 year-old Melvin McHenry as McHenry and other youths were attacking him in his front yard. Some neighbors and even Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown have come out to support him.  He says he and his family refuse to give in and move away. ( Rod Lamkey Jr. / The Washington Times )  Standing outside of his gated front door, Patrick McCullough looks over his shoulder as he exits his home on 59th Street, on the north side of Oakland, CA, Wednesday July 20, 2005, and talks about his experiences living there. As people like Patrick and his family deal with drug dealers and other crime, events on this tough neighborhood street came to a violent climax on February 18, 2005. According to McCullough, he shot and wounded 16 year-old Melvin McHenry as McHenry and other youths were attacking him in his front yard. Some neighbors and even Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown have come out to support him. He says he and his family refuse to give in and move away. ( Rod Lamkey Jr. / The Washington Times )
  • Leroy Thorpe walks around the Shaw neighborhood in NW, DC, Saturday, July 17,2004 pointing out former crack houses he, along with his Red Hat group, helped to shut down, turning the once crime ridden area into an area with homes going for a quarter of a million dollars. ( Mary F. Calvert / The Washington Times )Leroy Thorpe walks around the Shaw neighborhood in NW, DC, Saturday, July 17,2004 pointing out former crack houses he, along with his Red Hat group, helped to shut down, turning the once crime ridden area into an area with homes going for a quarter of a million dollars. ( Mary F. Calvert / The Washington Times )
  • Chief of Police Cathy Lanier addresses new police academy recruits at the National Night Out celebration in Ward 8 on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007. The chief and the mayor started their evening out in Ward 8 and planned to visit a number of National Night Out celebrations in the city. (Barbara L. Salisbury / The Washington Times)Chief of Police Cathy Lanier addresses new police academy recruits at the National Night Out celebration in Ward 8 on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007. The chief and the mayor started their evening out in Ward 8 and planned to visit a number of National Night Out celebrations in the city. (Barbara L. Salisbury / The Washington Times)
  • Officer Tony Nwani [cq] of the Mobile Crime Unit fingerprints Shirley Stewart, 6, of Washington, D.C., during National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. Metropolitan Police Department officers around the District reach out to the community on National Night Out in an effort to improve police-community relations. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Officer Tony Nwani [cq] of the Mobile Crime Unit fingerprints Shirley Stewart, 6, of Washington, D.C., during National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. Metropolitan Police Department officers around the District reach out to the community on National Night Out in an effort to improve police-community relations. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • A metro police officer examine the gun shots at the crime scene at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum  in Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 11, 2009, where a security guard was killed during a shooting yesterday. (Astrid Riecken/The Washington Times)A metro police officer examine the gun shots at the crime scene at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 11, 2009, where a security guard was killed during a shooting yesterday. (Astrid Riecken/The Washington Times)
  • Washington DC Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier offers remarks on the drop in homicides as she is joined by Washington DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray (not in photo) during their press conference to announce a drop in the number of homicides and a plan to improve police services, in Washington DC, Friday, December 30, 2011. As of December 30, 2011 there have been 108 murders in the District, putting the nation's capital on pace to have it's lowest number of homicides in nearly 50 years. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)Washington DC Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier offers remarks on the drop in homicides as she is joined by Washington DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray (not in photo) during their press conference to announce a drop in the number of homicides and a plan to improve police services, in Washington DC, Friday, December 30, 2011. As of December 30, 2011 there have been 108 murders in the District, putting the nation's capital on pace to have it's lowest number of homicides in nearly 50 years. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)
  • A young man who did not want to give his name leans on the barbed wire topped fence and watches a press conference at the Robert L. Yeldell Towers, to denounce culture of gun violence in southeast Washington D.C., Tuesday, August 12, 2008. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)A young man who did not want to give his name leans on the barbed wire topped fence and watches a press conference at the Robert L. Yeldell Towers, to denounce culture of gun violence in southeast Washington D.C., Tuesday, August 12, 2008. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of violent crimes rose by 18 percent in the United States last year while property crimes went up by 11 percent, the government reported Wednesday.

It was the first year-to-year increase for violent crime since 1993, marking the end of a long string of declines. Violent crime fell by 65 percent since 1993, from 16.8 million to 5.8 million last year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics’ annual national crime victimization survey, the size of the percentage increases in both violent crime and property crime for last year was driven in large part by the historically low levels seen in 2010.

The increase in violent crime was the result of an upward swing in assaults, which rose 22 percent, from 4 million in 2010 to 5 million last year. But the incidence of rape, sexual assault and robbery remained largely unchanged, as did serious violent crime involving weapons or injury

“While it’s cause for concern, I would caution against forecasting future crime trends based on a one-year fluctuation,” said Chris Melde, an assistant professor at Michigan State University’s school of criminal justice.

“You can have percentage changes that seem quite large, but unless you put them in a longer-term perspective you can sometimes misinterpret the overall seriousness of the problem,” Melde added.

The increases in violent crime experienced by whites, Hispanics, younger people and men accounted for the majority of the increase in violent crime.

In the latest survey, property crime was up for the first time in a decade, from 15.4 million in 2010 to 17 million last year. Household burglaries rose 14 percent, from 3.2 million to 3.6 million. The number of thefts jumped by 10 percent, from 11.6 million to 12.8 million.

The victimization figures are based on surveys by the Census Bureau of a large sample of people in order to gather data from those who are victims of crime. They are considered the government’s most comprehensive crime statistics because they count both crimes that never are reported to the police as well as those reported.

Last May, the FBI’s preliminary crime report for 2011, which counts only crimes reported to police, concluded that crime dropped again last year, down 4 percent for violent crime and 3.7 percent for property crime. The declines slowed in the second half of last year, a sign to academic experts that the many years of lowering crime levels might be nearing an end. Historically, less than half of all crimes, including violent crimes, are reported to police.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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