RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia experienced a decrease in both violent crime and property crime last year. The Virginia State Police released the annual statewide crime report Monday. It shows that violent crime declined by 1.6 percent, while property crime was down 3.9 percent from 2012.
The homicide rate remained about the same at 3.84 per 100,000 residents. It was 3.86 per 100,000 a year ago.
Vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 6 percent and robbery decreased 3.7 percent.
However, fraud offenses increased by 7.6 percent and drug offenses increased for the fourth year in a row, this time by 3.8 percent.
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Virginia State Police Press Release:
RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2013 is now available online at the Virginia State Police website 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 2013 crime figures within Virginia are presented in the report:
Virginia experienced a decline in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) of 1.6 percent compared to 2012, less of a decline of the 3.0 percent decrease comparing 2011 with 2012. The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.
Property crime such as burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft continued to decrease for the previous year (3.9 percent) which was even greater than between 2011 and 2012, a decrease of 3.3 percent. The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.
The homicide rate per 100,000 population remained the same for 2013 (3.84) as in 2012 (3.86). Based on the ages reported, victims tended to be older than offenders; 20 percent of homicide victims were 50 years of age or older, while only 11 percent of offenders were in the same age group of 50 and older.
Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 6 percent. Of the 8,396 motor vehicles stolen, 4,480 or just over one-half were recovered (53.4%). Trucks and automobiles stolen had the highest percent recovered (65%, 63%, respectively), while recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) had the lowest percent recovered (36%, 32.1%). Nearly four-out-of-10 (39.2%) of all motor vehicle offenses were reported stolen from the location of a residence or home. The value of all motor vehicles stolen and attempts to steal was $57,927,170, while the value recovered was $32,225,988 (55.6%).
Drug and narcotic offenses showed slight decreases in 2009 (-2.5%) and 2008 (-3.5%). For the past four years drug offenses have increased (5.3% in 2010, 7.1% in 2011, 9.4% for 2012 and 3.8% in 2013) in Virginia.
Fraud offenses increased by 7.6 percent when compared to 2012.
Robbery decreased 3.7 percent. Of the 4,555 robberies and attempted robberies, just over one-third (34%) took place between 8 p.m. and midnight. The days of the week showed little variability with a separation of less than 2 percent between the highest and lowest numbers reported.
Of the weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were the most frequently used in homicides (70%), followed by robberies (55%) and aggravated assaults (20%).
There were 123 hate crimes reported in 2013. Nearly two-thirds or 61 percent were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward religion was next highest with 24 percent while bias toward sexual orientation comprised 11 percent. The remaining 4 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. The offense of destruction/damage/vandalism of property was associated with 47 percent of all reported bias motivated crimes while 44 percent of reported hate crimes involved assaults.
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 2012 and 2013, adult arrests in Virginia decreased less than one percent (-0.19%). Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses decreased 10 percent statewide during the same period of time. Crime in Virginia reports that Group B arrests decreased 6.8 percent for adults, and decreased 12.8 percent for juveniles between 2012 and 2013. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 341,557 arrests in 2012 compared to 325,504 arrests in 2013, representing a decrease of 4.7 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 a secured Internet system. This information is 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 who modifies and incorporates them in their annual report, Crime in the United States.