- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 29, 2002

The nation's crime rate increased by 2.1 percent last year, the first year-to-year jump since 1991, the FBI said yesterday.

Violent crimes, including murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, showed a 0.8 percent increase from 2000, while property crimes, including burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft, were up by 2.3 percent, according to a report released by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program.

Crimes reported to nearly 17,000 city, county and state law enforcement agencies formed the basis of the report, the FBI said, noting that the agencies represent 92 percent of the U.S. population.

According to the report, information from the September 11 attacks was included in a separate special report, which concluded that 3,047 died in the attacks 2,823 at the World Trade Center, 184 at the Pentagon and 40 in Pennsylvania.

In Washington, Maryland and Virginia, the report listed 25,241 incidents of violent crime and 170,499 reports of property crime.

Leading the area in murder reports during 2001 was Baltimore with 256, followed by Washington with 232 and Richmond with 72. Baltimore also was first in the reported cases of forcible rape with 296, followed by Washington with 188 and Norfolk with 127.

Baltimore also was first in the incidents of robbery with 5,747, followed by Washington with 3,940 and Richmond with 1,430; aggravated assaults with 8,500, followed by Washington with 5,568 and Richmond with 1,127; burglaries with 10,899, followed by Washington with 5,009 and Richmond with 2,934; and larceny-thefts with 29,615, followed by Washington with 21,434 and Norfolk with 10,123.

The FBI report said Baltimore led in the number of reported cases of motor vehicle theft with 8,175, followed by Washington with 7,670 and Richmond with 3,063.

According to the report, the total number of reported incidents of crime nationwide during 2001 based on five- and 10-year trends was down 10.2 percent when compared with 1997 and 17.9 percent when compared with 1992 statistics.

The report also said:

•Cities nationwide had a 2 percent increase in the number of reported crimes. Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 had the largest increase at 4.1 percent, while the smallest increases were reported by cities with more than 1 million inhabitants, where crime reports rose by 0.5 percent.

•Suburban and rural counties had increases in reported crimes of 2.4 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

•The total number of crimes reported per 100,000 population the crime index rate was 4,160.5, a 0.9 percent increase from 2000. The 2001 rate was 15.6 percent lower than the 1997 rate and 26.5 percent lower than 1992.

•By region, the South had the highest crime index rate, followed by the West, Midwest and Northeast, which was the only region to show a decrease in the crime index rate compared with 2000.

•There were 1.4 million violent crimes reported last year. Personal weapons, such as hands, fists and feet, were used in 31.1 percent of the cases. Firearms were involved in 26.2 percent of violent crimes, and knives and other cutting instruments in 14.9 percent. Other dangerous weapons were used in 27.8 percent of the reported violent crimes.

•A total of 10.4 million property crimes were reported, with a property crime rate of 3,656.1 per 100,000 inhabitants 1.0 percent higher than in 2000. The estimated dollar loss attributed to property crime was $16.6 billion, a 5.6 percent increase from 2000.

According to the FBI report, 9.6 percent of all crime index offenses reported nationwide were cleared by arrest or other means. Of violent crimes, 46.2 percent were cleared, and 16.2 percent of property crimes were cleared.

The report said murder was the offense most likely to be cleared, at 62.4 percent. Burglary had the lowest percentage of clearances at 16.2 percent.

The report also said an estimated 15,980 murders occurred in the United States in 2001, a 2.5 percent increase from 2000.

By race, 49.8 percent of victims were white, 47.5 percent were black and the remainder were persons of other races. Approximately 42.3 percent of the murder victims knew their assailants, and nearly a third of all female victims were slain by a husband or boyfriend.


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