Updated Oct 16, 2023 - Politics & Policy

U.S. violent crimes fell in 2022, FBI says — but property crime is up

New York Police Department officers and detectives investigate the fatal stabbing of two young children at an apartment building on Echo Place in Mount Hope, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.

New York Police Department officers and detectives investigate the fatal stabbing of two young children at an apartment building on Echo Place in Mount Hope, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Photo: Jeff Bachner/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Violent crime in the U.S. dropped last year, but property crimes skyrocketed, according to data in the FBI's annual crime report released Monday.

Why it matters: A pandemic-era surge in violent crime in some cities contributed to a halt on police reform efforts and pressure on Democratic mayors, but new data suggests the tide may be turning.

By the numbers: Reported murder and non-negligent manslaughter cases in 2022 nationwide fell 6.1% compared to 2021, according to the FBI.

  • The estimated number of reported rape cases saw an estimated 5.4% decrease and aggravated assaults were down 1.1.%
  • Overall, the rate of violent crime — such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — per 100,000 inhabitants was 380.7 compared to 387 in 2021, an Axios review of FBI data found.

Yes, but: The rate of property crime per 100,000 inhabitants jumped to 1,954.4 compared to 1,832.3 the year before.

  • Police reported to the FBI 3,624,208 larceny-theft cases in 2022, for example, compared to 3,227,622 the year before, illustrating the retail theft jump retailers have been mentioning.
  • Motor theft also spiked to 721,852 in 2022 compared to 601,453 the year before. That's a 20% increase.

The intrigue: The FBI reported a 6.9% increase in hate crimes from 2021 to 2022 and a rise in law enforcement participating in reporting.

  • Critics charge that some states like Florida don't compel their law enforcement agencies to aggressively report hate crimes, hurting the FBI in gathering good data about bias crime
  • The top reported bias crimes in 2022 were anti-Black for race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, anti-Jewish for religious bias, and anti-gay (male) for sexual orientation bias, the FBI said.

Zoom out: The FBI said it is using old and new systems of crime data collection this year after it came under criticism last year when a number of agencies didn't report their crimes.

  • Those agencies hadn't updated their collection systems.

Between the lines: This was the second year in a row that the FBI reported drops in violent crime following a steady increase.

  • Crime is expected to be a significant issue in the 2024 election, but violent crime rates are still nowhere near their highs in the 1990s.

Don't forget: The FBI's annual data set is the country's foremost way to understand how crime across the U.S. is changing, measuring things like how many murders or rapes took place last year or how many people were arrested.

Of note: The FBI recently moved to a new collection system but some law enforcement agencies haven't updated their collection methods.

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