Violent Crime Statistics in 2010

Violent crimes are classified in four categories consisting of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Crime statistics are initially collected by individual police departments at the time a criminal defendant is booked at a police station however this data is collected and compiled nationally by the FBI in what is called the UCR (Universal Crime Reporting Program). This allows the nation and individual law enforcement agencies to assess how effective their tactics are working to combat particular crime types as well projecting crime trends to show where new strategies need to be employed.

Violent crimes have been on a downward trend overall for 2010 totaling at an estimated 1,246,248 reported violent crimes throughout the nation. Of the violent crimes reported during 2010 the largest majority occurred in aggravated assaults which made up for 62.5% followed by robberies which made up for 29.5% of the violent crimes reported. Rape was reported to make up 6.8% and lastly murder made up for 1.2% of the nation’s violent crime occurrences for the year.

Overall the nation’s number of violent crimes has decrease 6% from 2009 and has been on a steady decrease for the past 5 and 10 year comparisons. When referring to violent crimes, it is implied that a weapon is generally used to commit these offenses. As such statistics on the weapon type used in these crimes is recorded and published by the FBI with the exception of rape reports which do not record and publish statistics on the type of weapon used.

Firearms are of particular concern to law enforcement agents so data on weapons used in crimes and in specific regions of the nation are important to ensuring that our law enforcement agents are properly prepared for any situation they may encounter. Nationwide firearms were used in 67.5% of the nation’s murders, 41.4% of the nation’s robberies and 20.6% of the nation’s aggravated assaults.

Homicide Weapon Statistics:
67.5% of murders used a firearm.
13.1% of murders used a knife or cutting instrument.
13.6% of murders used an unknown or dangerous weapon.
5.8% of murders involved unarmed assailants.

Robbery Weapon Statistics:
41.4% of robberies occurred using a firearm.
7.9% of robberies occurred using a knife or cutting instrument.
8.8% of robberies occurred using other weapon types.
42.0% of robberies were classified as “strong-arm” robberies.

Assault Weapon Statistics:
20.6% of aggravated assaults occurred using a firearm.
19.0% of aggravated assaults occurred using a knife or cutting instrument.
33.1% of aggravated assaults occurred using other weapons (clubs, blunt, etc).
27.4% of assaults were reported by unarmed assailants.

These statistics are further broken up to indicate weapon percentages which occurred in generalized areas of the country typically consisting of the Northeast, Midwest, West and South. The data collected in these reports can help fuel legislation such as gun control laws, concealed weapon laws and police search and seizure laws for particular states.

Northeastern United States:

Firearm stats:
64.4% in homicides reported, 33.4% in robberies reported, 14.9% in assaults reported.

Knife and cutting instrument stats:
16.5% in homicides reported, 10.2% in robberies reported, 22.4% in assaults reported.

Other weapons (blunt, unknown) stats:
14.5% in homicides reported, 8.6% in robberies reported, 34.2% in assaults reported.

Unarmed stats:
4.6% in homicides reported, 47.7% in robberies reported, 28.4% in assaults reported.

Midwestern United States:

Firearm stats:
71.9% in homicides reported, 45.0% in robberies reported, 23.6% in assaults reported.

Knife and cutting instrument stats:
8.7% in homicides reported, 5.4% in robberies reported, 17.1% in assaults reported.

Other weapons (blunt, unknown) stats:
14.1% in homicides reported, 9.2% in robberies reported, 29.5% in assaults reported.

Unarmed stats:
5.3% in homicides reported, 40.3% in robberies reported, 29.8% in assaults reported.

Western United States:
Firearm stats:
65.0% in homicides reported, 31.8% in robberies reported, 17.5% in assaults reported.

Knife and cutting instrument stats:
14.9% in homicides reported, 9.1% in robberies, 17.4% in assaults.

Other weapons (blunt, unknown) stats:
13.6% in homicides, 9.4% in robberies, 34.0% in assaults.

Unarmed stats:
6.6% in homicides, 49.7% in robberies, 31.1% in assaults.

Southern United States:
Firearm stats:
68.1% in homicides, 49.5% in robberies, 17.5% in assaults reported.

Knife and cutting instrument stats:
12.8% in homicides, 7.0% in robberies, 17.4% in assaults.

Other weapons (blunt, unknown) stats:
13.0% in homicides, 8.2% in robberies, 34.0% in assaults.

Unarmed stats:
6.1% in homicides, 35.3% in robberies, 31.1% in assaults.

Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence – A Correlated Generalized Deviance

I believe it is safe to say that a majority of defendants charged in our courts with animal abuse have prior domestic violence convictions as well. It is because of the “generalized deviance” that domestic violence and animal abuse are correlated. Anti-social behavior of different levels can happen in one individual but how that individual came to exercise the deviance is more complicated as there are many pathways that lead to it. An example of one of these exercises is the individuals use of violence or other anti-social manipulations to “solve” problems which is called “modeling” and explains why violence is often intergenerational. Although animal abuse and domestic violence are correlated, it varies as to which occurs first.

But are there any numbers we can connect here; any studies conducted to make this deviance a little more tangible? A study done in New Jersey found that in 88% of households where children were physically abused, there were records of animal abuse as well. In Wisconsin, four out of five battered women cases revealed the partner had been violent toward pets. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conducted a study of abuse victims after arriving at domestic violence shelters and found that 85.4% of women and 63.0% of children reported incidents of pet abuse. The Chicago Police Department’s Domestic Violence Program compiled a history of arrestees for animal fighting/animal abuse for the period of 2000-2001 and found that approximately 30% had a conviction of domestic violence on their record. Animal abuse is often associated with other serious crimes such as drug offenses, gangs, weapons violence, sexual assault, and domestic violence and the individuals committing these acts of violence against animals are viewed as a danger to the public and therefore, must be addressed. The whole premise of an animal abuser is to demonstrate power. The abuser will batter an animal to hold control over his family, to isolate them and enforce submission. He will abuse a pet to perpetuate a fearful environment; to prevent a victim from leaving or coerce them to return. They will batter an animal to punish a victim for showing independence.

First responders and professionals who investigate abuse should be aware and trained to observe the cycle of violence. Some states practice this observance and take it a step further by implementing cross-reporting laws. When an animal control officer is called to investigate animal abuse in a home with children, they are mandated to report child abuse when animal abuse is confirmed. Children are generally more willing to discuss what happened to a pet than they are to their own victimization. In Ohio, any child under the age of 18 years of age who commits cruelty to a pet, is required to undergo psychological evaluation to determine individual or family counseling as necessary. The legislation also permit’s the court to include a protection order for any companion animal in the home of the person seeking a criminal protection order, domestic violence protection order, a civil stalking order, a sexual offense protection order, or the approval of a civil domestic violence consent agreement. Often a partner will abuse a pet that is in the home as a tactic to keep the victim under control. It is understood that many victims will not leave when it puts their pets in harm’s way. When questioning victims and their children, first responders should be alert for signs of child and/or pet victimization. They should ask if the abuser or anyone else threatened to harm their pet and ask if they need help finding a safe place for their pet to go if they leave. Many victims will not prosecute their abuser however, animal cruelty prosecution can result in incarceration or treatment that is equal to results from a domestic violence prosecution.

Domestic Violence Shelters, Animal Shelters, and Humane Organizations can do much to offer protection for animal victims. When working with abuse victims in their safety planning, be sure they include their pets. Question them about any threats or injuries to their pets. Work with legislators to include pets in orders of protection and educate judges on the necessities of these inclusions. Team up with your local animal control and humane organizations and local domestic violence shelters to establish emergency housing of pets coming from homes experiencing violence. If there is no space available, establish a network of homes that provide emergency care for these pets through foster care agencies then incorporate these connections in school programs where they might reach children who are at risk of family violence. Also, many YWCA’s have pet shelter programs that are in partnership with the humane society, local clinics, kennels, stables, and veterinarians.

Unfortunately, victims of domestic violence often choose to stay in abusive relationships to protect their pets. A study shows that 71% of women seeking “safe haven” in domestic violence shelters had companion animals threatened, hurt, or killed by their abuser. Many victims never even go to a shelter because of this fear for their pets. It is in recognition of this fact that many states have passed laws including pets in court-issued orders of protection and to include any animal that is harmed or threatened with harm in the state’s definition of “domestic violence.” Society doesn’t consider animal cruelty as severe as violence against humans but it is increasingly viewed as a serious issue by professionals in law enforcement and mental health. Effective prosecution of animal abuse can provide early and timely response to those who are, or who are at risk of becoming, a threat to the safety of others. It is a tool for protection for victims of family violence, developing new skills and understanding which will help build a truly compassionate society.

Reducing Gun Crime

Facts and Figures

Gun crime in the UK makes up less than 0.5% of all crime recorded by the police. Although this is a small statistic, the use of guns leads to severe bodily harm or death, of which there were 455 of these last year.

Punishment

In order to reduce gun crime there are several laws in place to act as punitive and deterrent measures. Possession of an illegal firearm alone, incurs a minimum of 5 years in jail. The use or possession of an air weapon or imitation firearm in public is also now illegal and the manufacture of imitation firearms has become prohibited too. The age at which an air weapon can be purchased has been increased to 17 years of age and some air weapons that can easily be converted into firing weapons have become prohibited. Most of these laws come under the 1996 Violent Crime Reduction Act.

Reducing Supply

Further actions taken to reduce gun crime are to reduce the supply of guns to the UK. According to the Lord Chief Justice, it is because guns are so readily available that there is still gun crime in the UK and we need to tackle this problem more effectively. This can be done by tightening security at UK airports to prevent smuggling past customs and also monitoring parcels that are shipped into the UK.

Gun Culture

A lot of gun crime is associated with gang culture and illegal drug trade and so by addressing these problems there is hope that this will also reduce the use of guns. ‘Connected’ is a government initiative to support communities in standing up against the use of guns in their local areas.

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Trends in Violent Crime in the US – The Statistics

With the tough economic times and high unemployment rates, there is a fear of higher rates of violent crimes. It seems that just the opposite is happening. Murders and crimes in the United States are on the decline. Violent crimes reported by agencies in all of the United States have dropped over 6 percent. Murders have dropped over 7 percent. Rapes, robberies, and assaults have also had similar percentages. The exact reason why they are on downward trend cannot be explained. Police departments are worried that if the economy continues to decline, police officers will lose their jobs, causing these rates to spike.

When looking back at previous violent crime trends, it appears that rates increase and decrease every few years. The current trend has been heading downward for over 3 years. Tracking trends is thought to be a way to tell when it will peak and when it will go down. A current model, which has watched the trends for the past 50 years, shows that all types peaked in the 1990’s. Overall, 1992 was the worst year for violent crime.

Assault has the highest arrest rate. This category is commonly associated with fighting. Over 1 million assault incidents were reported in the 1990’s. Robbery peaked in the 1990’s to over 800,000 crimes. Now, the numbers have dropped substantially to less than have of that number. Murder is the same. It has almost dropped to half of the number that was reported in the 1990’s. Rape peaked in the 1990’s as well, with approximately 110,000 cases. Though the rate has dropped, it is not as significant robbery or murder. Property crimes show similar trends, but still continue to have a huge number. Though the trend shows a decrease, the number is significant.

It is important to consider what may have caused the rise in violent crime in the 1990’s. This could help them from peaking again in the future. Crime also dropped off rapidly after the 1990’s. It might be helpful to look at issues that may have had a factor is decreasing rates. Factors may include increased population or laws. It is hard to say without digging deeper. For now, they have been consistently on the decline for over 3 years, and seems to be continuing on a downward trend.