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Criminal Victimization, 1999: Changes 1998-99 with Trends 1993-99

EMBARGOED UNTIL 4:30 P.M. EDT                              BJS
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27,  2000                         202/307-0784  
               
         
NATIONAL VIOLENT CRIME RATE FALLS MORE THAN 10 PERCENT--  
VIOLENT VICTIMIZATIONS DOWN ONE-THIRD SINCE 1993       

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The nation's violent crime rate fell
by more than 10 percent during 1999, reaching the lowest level
since the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics
(BJS) started measuring it in 1973.  There were an estimated
28.8 million violent and property crimes during 1999, compared
to 44 million such incidents counted in the first year of BJS'
National Crime Victimization survey.
      The BJS report says every major type of personal and
property crime measured decreased between 1993 and 1999.  The
declines in the rates for selected crimes were as follows:

     Completed violent crimes   . . . . . . . . .  -32.7 %
     Rape . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .   -40.0
     Robbery with injury   . .  . . . . . . . .    -38.5
     Aggravated assault with injury . . . . . . .  -41.2
     Threatened with weapon . . . . . . . . . . .  -45.3
     Personal theft (picked pockets or purses) . . -60.9
     Completed household burglaries . . . . . . . .-39.4
     Completed motor vehicle thefts  . . . . . . . -39.5
     Thefts of $250 or more  . . . . . . . . . . . -23.8    
     Attempted theft  . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . -56.9
	 
     The 1999 data indicated that 54 percent of all violent
crime victims in 1999 knew their attackers.  Almost 70 percent
of the rape and sexual assault victims knew the offender as an
acquaintance, friend, relative or intimate, compared to just
under 50 percent of the aggravated assault victims.
     Forty-four percent of last year's violent victimizations
were reported to police, compared to 34 percent of property
crime victimizations.  The most frequently reported crime was
motor vehicle theft, while the least frequently reported was
personal theft. 
     The survey also noted that a little more than 28 percent
of the rape and sexual assault victimizations were reported to
the police.  A gun was present but not necessarily used in
about 1 percent of such incidents and another type of weapon
was brandished in another 4 percent.
     Persons 16-19 and 35 - 49 years old experienced violent
crimes at rates lower than they did in 1998, the report said. 
Last year's violent crime rates fell for a third of the
demographic categories examined,  including males, whites,
urbanites and those earning $75,000 or more annually.       
     According to preliminary Federal Bureau of Investigation
data, homicides declined about 8 percent last year. 
Historically, males accounted for about three-quarters of the
murder victims, and about one in eight of the murder victims
was less than 18 years old. 
     Property crime rates continued a 25-year downward trend,
dropping 9 percent from 1998 to 1999 -- from 217 per 1,000
U.S. households to 198 per 1,000 households. 
     The violent victimization rates were significantly
higher in the West and the Midwest than in the Northeast and
the South.
     The bulletin, "Criminal Victimization 1999 -- Changes
1998-99 with Trends 1993-99"  (NCJ-182734), was written by BJS
statistician Callie Marie Rennison.  Single copies may be 
obtained from the BJS fax-on-demand system by dialing 301/519-
5550, listening to the complete menu and selecting document
number 214.  Or call the BJS clearinghouse at 1-800-732-3277. 
Fax orders for mail delivery to 410/492-4358.  The full report
may be obtained from the BJS Internet site at:
           http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs
     Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained
from the Office of Justice Programs Website at:
                   http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov

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BJS00186 (L)
After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354
                    
Date Created: May 26, 2009