FBI: Report Shows Violent Crimes Decreased in 2018

The FBI announced that its report on Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data for 2018 shows a decline in violent crimes by 3.3 percent. UCR will be replaced by 2021, with many jurisdictions already switched over to a new system.


Editor’s Note: October 4, 2019. An earlier version of this story was based on preliminary numbers the FBI released back in February. The full report was released on September 30, 2019, and the FBI UCR data indicated crime decreased 3.3% in 2018 over 2017.

The FBI has released their full report on data contributed voluntarily by U.S. law enforcement agencies showing an overall decrease of 3.3 percent in the number of reported violent crimes between 2017 and 2018.

What is Considered a Violent Crime?

The violent crime category includes murder, rape (revised definition), robbery and aggravated assault. The FBI’s report indicates nearly all offenses in the violent crime category declined, except rape:

  • Robbery offenses decreased 12.1 percent
  • Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses decreased 6.1 percent
  • Aggravated assault offenses declined 0.7 percent

Rape increased 2.8 percent under the agency’s revised definition -- the term “forcible” was removed and the definition was changed to “penetration.”

The FBI announced that its 2018 report contains data from more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide that voluntarily submitted crime data to the UCR Program.

However, several states, including Texas, and numerous large, medium and and small cities do not report their data, as Efficientgov previously reported.

Many jurisdictions have switched to reporting their crime data to the FBI’s newer National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which is expected to be completed in 2021, and while some make crime data available to the public, they do not report to FBI. According to the FBI, 43 percent of law enforcement agencies are reporting through NIBRS.

The number of property crimes in the United States in 2018 based on the UCR data also dropped 6.3 percent, according to the UCR report. Property crimes tracked include burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.

Access the full Crime in the United States 2018 report on the FBI’s website.

Andrea Fox is Editor of Gov1.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.