Uniform Crime Report Shows Violent Crime Fell 4.9 Percent
HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The overall number of crimes in Pennsylvania reported to state police through the Uniform Crime Reporting System dropped 5.4 percent in 2009, with violent crimes declining 4.9 percent to their lowest total since 2003, Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski announced today.
The statistics are included in the 2009 Uniform Crime Report available online through the Public Services link at www.psp.state.pa.us.
Pawlowski said the total number of crimes reported to state police in 2009 was 955,669, compared to the 1,010,703 crimes reported in 2008.
The number of violent crimes, which are murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped from 50,523 in 2008 to 48,023 last year. Property crimes, which are burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft and arson, decreased 6.8 percent from 298,024 in 2008 to 277,720 in 2009.
Pawlowski said the number of Crime Index offenses, which are those considered most likely to be reported to police and are used nationally as a basis for comparing criminal activity, dipped 6.5 percent from 348,548 in 2008 to 325,743 last year. Crime Index offenses are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, motor-vehicle theft and arson.
The breakdown of reported Crime Index offenses for 2009 is as follows:
- Murders dropped 8 percent from 704 to 648;
- Forcible rapes increased 4.9 percent to 3,620;
- Robberies declined 6.9 percent to 17,464;
- Aggravated assaults dipped 4.8 percent to 26,291;
- Burglaries dropped 6 percent to 54,519;
- Larcenies/thefts were down 5.6 percent to 203,268;
- Motor-vehicle thefts fell 20.2 percent to 17,776, and
- Arsons declined 9.3 percent to 2,157.
The UCR also includes figures on 18 other types of crime, known as Part II offenses. Those reported offenses dropped by 4.9 percent in 2009, from 662,140 in 2008 to 629,893. Included in the Part II violations are reported incidents of vandalism – down 11.7 percent to 117,316 – and reported drug-abuse violations – down 3.8 percent to 52,565.
Other statistics from the 2009 UCR include:
- Arrests of juveniles for all crimes dropped 11.9 percent to 91,768 in 2009;
- Reported hate crime incidents decreased from 90 in 2008 to 74 last year. Hate crime incidents are those motivated by bias against an individual or group based on race, color, religion or national origin;
- The number of assaults on police officers in Pennsylvania fell 4.2 percent to 3,429 last year;
- Arrests for driving under the influence declined 1.8 percent to 55,568. Of the total, 77.1 percent of those arrested were male.
The commonwealth's UCR system is a web-based system through which law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania enter monthly data directly into a state police database. Citizens can go to the website and view the data as soon as it is submitted.
"Police can submit data at any time with the web-based system," Pawlowski said. "As a result, the numbers listed in the 2009 UCR Annual Report are subject to change as police departments update or review their reports."
He said the UCR does not try to explain the reasons for any increase or decrease in particular crimes. "Its purpose is to help criminal-justice agencies adjust their efforts and resources," he said.
The report is dedicated to all Pennsylvania law enforcement officers and, in particular, to the following officers who lost their lives in the performance of duty during 2009: Detective Christopher Jones, Middletown Township Police Department; Officer John Pawlowski, Philadelphia Police Department; Officers Stephen Mayhle, Paul Sciullo II and Eric Kelly, all of the Pittsburgh Police Department; Tpr. Joshua Miller, Pennsylvania State Police; and Officer Michael Crawshaw, Penn Hills Police Department.
For more information, visit www.psp.state.pa.us or call 717-783-5556.
Media contact: Lt. Myra A. Taylor or Jack J. Lewis, 717-783-5556
SOURCE Pennsylvania State Police Department