Crime statistics compiled by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program from data provided by U.S. law enforcement agencies showed that when the first six months of 1992 were compared with the same period for 1991, violent crime increased three per cent and property crimes decreased three per cent in America. Total crime decreased, according to the FBI, by two per cent- the first such national decrease since 1984. Despite the overall increase in violent crimes, murder was down three per cent from the same period in 1991, and robbery decreased one per cent. The number of forcible rapes reported increased four per cent and aggravated assaults were six per cent higher. Among the reported property crimes, arson was the only category to show an increase, at six per cent. Burglary decreased four per cent, larceny-theft declined three per cent, and motor vehicle theft dropped two per cent (Tables 1 and 3).
The West was the only region of the country to report both violent and property crime increases (violent by nine per cent and property by one per cent); the South reported a three per cent increase in violent crime and a three per cent decrease in property crime; the Northeast reported no change in violent crime and a five per cent decrease in property crime; and the Midwest reported decreases of one per cent in violent crime and six per cent in property crime (Table 2).
Despite media coverage of the supposedly drug-stimulated murder waves in the nation's largest cities, of the eight largest American cities only Los Angeles reported an increase in the total number of murders in the first six months of 1992 (Table 4). Cities over 1,000,000 population reported a six per cent decrease in murders, and decreases of six per cent in robberies, seven per cent in burglaries, and seven per cent in larceny-theft - all purportedly drugrelated crimes.
The only Alaska city identified in the UCR reports - Anchorage - followed the national trend with fewer murders in the first six months of 1992 than in the same period of 1991 (Table 5). According to the FBI statistics, during the first six months of 1992 Anchorage police became aware of 12 murders and 102 rapes as compared to 16 murders and 128 rapes in the same period of 1991. Increases were reported for the crime categories of aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and arson in Anchorage for the 1992 reporting period.
The final year-long 1992 Uniform Crime Report for the United States will not be published until the summer of 1993. The figures used in the preceding comparisons and the annual Uniform Crime Reports are voluntarily submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the country to the FBI.
Anyone interested in additional information can contact the Justice Center, (907) 786-1810, or the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Section, (202) 324-5015.