Thursday, September 18, 2008

FBI Releases 2007 Crime Statistics

After rising for two straight years, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation declined from the previous year’s total. The declining trend continued for property crimes, as those offenses were down for the fifth year in a row.

Statistics the FBI show that the estimated volume of violent crime was down 0.7 percent, and the estimated volume of property crime decreased 1.4 percent in 2007 when compared with 2006 figures. The estimated rate of violent crime was 466.9 occurrences per 100,000 inhabitants (a 1.4 percent decrease from the 2006 rate), and the estimated rate of property crime was 3,263.5 per 100,000 inhabitants (a 2.1 percent decline).

Here's the paragraph I think is 1) most important and 2) most likely to be ignored.

Caution Against Ranking—Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

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