RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State Police statistics show both violent and property crimes fell about 3 percent in Virginia in 2012 compared to the year before.
The report released Monday showed there were 316 murders in the state last year, compared with 305 in 2011.
State Police say drug and narcotics offenses rose 9.4 percent and increased for the third straight year. Crimes such as burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts fell 3.3 percent, while murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults dropped by 3 percent. Specifically, there was a 13.2 percent decrease in robberies. Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts fell 8 percent.
The report didn't specify reasons behind the changes.
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Virginia State Police
RICHMOND – Virginia's official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2012 is now available online at the Virginia State Police Web site at http://www.vsp.virginia.gov, under "Forms & Publications." The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses by the reporting agency as well as arrests by jurisdiction.
The following 2012 crime trends within Virginia are presented in the report:
The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.
For Group A offenses, between 2011 and 2012, adult arrests in Virginia decreased less than one percent (-0.88 percent). Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses decreased 11.8 percent statewide during the same period of time. Crime in Virginia reports that Group B arrests decreased 5.1 percent for adults, and decreased 5.8 percent for juveniles between 2011 and 2012. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 355,595 arrests in 2011 compared to 341,557 arrests in 2012, representing a decrease of 3.9 percent.
Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs' offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via an automated system, and then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and are sent to the FBI which modifies and incorporates them in their annual report, Crime in the United States.