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Feds: Violent Crime Rises 18%, FBI Data Questioned

October 17, 2012  | 

Violent crime rates across the U.S. jumped by about 18%, and property crimes rose by 11% between 2010 and 2011, according to a report released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.

It's the first increase in both categories since 1993, according to the annual National Crime Victimization Survey that captures crimes not reported to police departments.

The survey reported that 5.8 million people age 12 and up were victims of violent crime, while 17.1 million were victims of property crime. The steepest increase came from a 22% increase in the number of aggravated and simple assaults.

The survey flies in the face of FBI crime data released earlier this year reporting a 4% drop in violent crime in 2011, the fifth decrease in as many years.

Eugene O'Donnell, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told the Huffington Post the disparity was troubling.

"It calls into question whether whether police departments, either subtlely or overtly, are discouraging reporting," O'Donnell said. "There's real pressure on police departments to have the numbers going down all the time."


FBI: Crime Rates Fell In 2011

Comments (16)

Displaying 1 - 16 of 16

Joe @ 10/17/2012 3:21 PM

What a crock. How do you determine crimes that were never reported? How do we even know they are using the proper definition of the crime? How many times have you heard someone say their house was robbed when they weren't even home, which is a burglary. We all know crimes go unreported, but how do you know how many? And for that "professor" to claim it is because police department's are discouraging reporting or classifying crimes wrong is completely wrong. Just like the unreported crimes, what is he basing that on? His own opinion, which doesn't mean squat. When has he ever been in the field?

ia cop @ 10/17/2012 3:41 PM

I wonder what the percentage of violent crimes committed by illegals is?

James Bradley @ 10/17/2012 3:51 PM

Interesting that Milwaukee, Wi. Police Dept has been investigated for not reporting violent crime. Apparently they have under reported a substantial number of serious crimes as minor infractions. If political pressure is to blame, then one might expect other departments doing the same. That would make the FBI stats appear skewed!

Deputy068 @ 10/17/2012 3:53 PM

'Huffington Post' says it all - progressive, liberal trash site. If he's posting there, you can be pretty sure he's on the ACLU/SPLC membership list and you know what that means ("All cops are racist pigs and dihonest thugs who take delite in arresting poor folks")

Frank @ 10/17/2012 4:44 PM

I read somewhere at the beginning of this year the FBI reported the crime rate was down. I found that and I'm sure anyone else who reads the paper or watches television would fing this information incorrect. I think its on the rise for many reasons; Illegals, Drug Cartels, Economy, Murders, Kidnappings the stuff that makes the National News every single night.

So why are we laying off LEO's inevery dam city and town across this country? We don't have the funding? Yeah, tell me another one!

Bill @ 10/17/2012 6:05 PM

We Irish have a term for this and it is called "cooking the books".

Mike Sharp @ 10/17/2012 7:16 PM

Anyone who rides in a scout car knows crime never "drops" . There are months or years that are better than others and the bad grows right along with good . If the city leaders would spend as much time and money on man power and training police officers to be police officers as they do on "10 city surveys " and PCR then maybe it might drop , we will never know

Sarge @ 10/18/2012 5:15 AM

James, the Milwaukee PD had a problem with their RMS and their records clerks who were reclassifying crimes incorrectly based on a warning from the system. This Tiburon system, which I am very familiar with is nothing but a nightmare to work with. Despite this, they should have manual checks/balances in place to catch the issue. It wasn't intentional effort or political pressure. They are being audited by a company called PRI Management Group run by law enforcement folks who know what they're doing. They are the expert when it comes to this stuff. Let's see what comes of it. I know that other departments accused of that nonsense have had similar issues. Then again, others have cooked the books but I doubt it in Milwaukee.

S.S @ 10/18/2012 6:55 AM

Thats right Mr. O'Donnell just put the blame on the police. You have no idea what the hell you're talking about. That police dept.s discourage police reports. Since when?

Lead Farmer @ 10/18/2012 7:57 AM

If the crime is unreported then how are they finding out about it, what criteria are they using to classify it and finally, can it be trusted? If the police numbers are skewed to make the departments look better than I am sure that the unreported numbers would also be skewed to make crime look worse than it is.

oldcop @ 10/18/2012 10:25 AM

I don't know what everyone else has experienced but I know a lot of pressure is put on all the detective divisions that I have been part of to either solve or in some other way get them off the book. Just the nature of the beast skews it on the side of writing crimes off as suspicious incidents or other ways of clearing them when really they go unsolved. You know a battery gets plead to a disturbing the peace, no it was a battery but we've got to get it off the books. Tell me that doesn't happen in other departments and I'll shut up.

Edward Wright @ 10/19/2012 8:17 AM

Joe, Police Departments do what the politicians tell them to. Simple as that. If they want an apparent reduction in crime, the Admin folks simply classify it differently. Not that difficult, assuming no one goes back and double checks. Whether the "professor" has been "out in the field" or not is irrelevant.

Cam @ 10/20/2012 3:18 PM

Since when is it not, beside the Chamber of Commerce, in the best interest of the city NOT to report crime in order to get a decent budget? It is hard enough to get a partial budget passed, lying would only make it worse. However, we all know the numbers can and are frequently manipulated, it just does not make sense to lie about serious crimes. Mr. Wright, unfortunately I have seen exactly what you are talking about done in my department. Where is the common sense these days?

Joe @ 10/22/2012 11:07 AM

@old cop. If you were really a cop you would know that whatever the DA charges the person with has no bearing on what we as cops classify the case. If we arrest someone for murder and they plead to disturbing the peace it makes no difference on the crime classification, just as it makes no difference on clearing calls. Burglaries still are classified as burgs whether they are cleared or not, that is an internal issue and apples and oranges for the purposes of this discussion.

Joe @ 10/22/2012 11:11 AM

@Edward Wright, police departments do not work that way. We give the city and community the stats, not the other way around. Just because you want to be cynical or a conspiracy theorist doesn't make it true. As someone who has his boots on the ground and now butt in the seat watching the crime stats, I can tell you it has never happened at my department and I would fire anyone who did this.

JP @ 10/27/2012 9:28 PM

Could it be that the numbers are difference because UCR data is bring reported and not NIBRS? It would be interesting to get the locations of their survey and cross reference it with how that local department reports their statistics. I wonder if the survey is a NIBRS type survey in an area where the local department is reporting UCR?

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