(Newsroom America) -- The estimated number of violent crimes reported to law enforcement (1,203,564) decreased for the fifth year in a row, according to the FBI's just-released Crime in the United States 2011 report.
Meanwhile the estimated number of property crimes reported to law enforcement (9,063,173) decreased for the ninth year in a row.
The South, the most populous region in the country, accounted for 41.3 percent of all violent crimes (lesser volumes of 22.9 percent were attributed in the West, 19.5 percent in the Midwest, and 16.2 percent in the Northeast).
Aggravated assaults accounted for the highest number of estimated violent crimes reported to law enforcement at 62.4 percent.
Firearms were used in 67.8 percent of the nation’s murders, 41.3 percent of robberies, and 21.2 percent of aggravated assaults (data on weapons used during forcible rapes is not collected).
In 2011, 64.8 percent of murder offenses, 41.2 percent of forcible rape offenses, 28.7 percent of robbery offenses, and 56.9 percent of aggravated assault offenses were “cleared”—either by the arrest of the subject or because law enforcement encountered a circumstance beyond its control that prohibited an arrest after the subject was identified (i.e., death of the subject).
43.2 percent of the estimated property crimes occurred in the South (followed by the West with 22.8 percent, the Midwest with 21.1 percent, and the Northeast with 13 percent).
Larceny-theft accounted for 68 percent of all property crimes in 2011 while property crimes resulted in estimated losses of $156.6 billion.
Also cleared were 21.5 percent of larceny-theft offenses, 12.7 percent of burglary offenses, 11.9 percent of motor vehicle theft offenses, and 18.8 percent of arson offenses.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is one of two statistical programs administered by the Department of Justice that measures the magnitude, nature, and impact of crime—the other is the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, the UCR Program is working to complete the automation of its data collection system, which will result in improved data collection efforts with new offense categories and revised offense definitions…as well as a faster turnaround time to analyze and publish the data.
And beginning with the 2013 data, the new definition for rape will take effect, and the FBI is developing options for law enforcement agencies to meet this requirement, which will be built into the new data collection system.