Report: Violent crime rates rose nationwide in 2011

Laura Byrne Contributor
Font Size:

Violent crime rates are up across the United States, the first time in ten years those statistics have shown an increase.

According to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, violent crime increased 17 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Approximately 23 of every 1,000 Americans were victims of violent crime in 2011, compared to 19 in 2010. Overall, nearly 6 million Americans were victimized last year.

The number of assaults increased 22 percent, the largest increase documented in the report.

“We don’t know if this is the beginning of a trend,” Daniel Schneider, an American University transnational crime professor, told The Daily Caller.

“That said, there are a couple things that could be at play here.  One is a higher unemployment rate, which often leads, but not always, to higher crime rates.”

Schneider is also a former legal adviser for the Justice Department.

According to the report, the majority of these victims of violent crime are whites, males, Hispanics, and younger people. The highest rates of serious violence were among Americans living in urban areas.

Schneider also cited drugs as a possible factor for higher crime rates. “A possible reason is drug related offenses, particularly drugs that are from Mexico with the drug traffic organizations in Mexico bringing them across the border for distribution,” he said.

“For instance there has been an increase in murder in Chicago, some are attributing that to drugs in Mexico,” Schneider added.

About 17 million Americans were victims of a property crime in 2011, an 11 percent increase from the year before. Close to 140 of every 1,000 American households saw a property crime in 2011, compared to 125 in 2010.

Household burglary alone increased by 14 percent. Thirty of every 1,000 households saw break-ins in 2011. That robbery statistic was 26 in 2010.

Follow Laura on Twitter