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The crime rate in the United States is falling, says the FBI. According to statistics gathered in 2014, arrests of juveniles decreased by more than 8 percent and arrests of adults decreased 3.4 percent in 2014 as compared with 2013. However, law enforcement still made 11.2 million arrests in 2014, with over 1.5 million of those charged with drug violations.
Juvenile crime rates
The 80 million juveniles in the United States saw nearly 133,000 arrests for larceny, about 173,000 arrests for property crimes, approximately 33,000 arrests for vandalism, around 58,000 arrests for disorderly conduct, about 80,000 arrests for drug abuse violations, and approximately 40,000 arrests for liquor law violations. Few records from these incidents will ever be visible or available to the public as those under 18 years of age are protected in the United States unless they are charged with the most serious of crimes, like murder, in which case they made be tried as adults (about 500 juveniles were arrested nationally for murder in 2014).
Drug offenses rise
The total number of arrests (adults and juveniles) for drug offenses in the U.S. in 2014 was over 1.5 million despite what appears to be loosened laws regarding possession and use of certain classes of drugs, like marijuana. Driving under the influence remains a significant issue with 1.1 million arrests, and larceny-theft accounted for another 1.2 million arrests.
Men are arrested at a much higher rate than women. In 2014, 73 percent of all arrests were men, and 79 percent of arrests for violent crimes were male suspects. There were 498,666 arrests for violent crimes in the U.S. in 2014.
What are your chances of being a victim of crime – or being arrested for a crime? A lot depends upon where you live. Although crime is down by more than 10 percent in the past decade, there were still 368 crimes of violence committed per 100,000 people in the U.S. in 2013, with the leading charge being aggravated assault.
Places to watch
Despite violent crime in general declining across the country in the past 10 years, some areas remain hotbeds for violence and danger – their crime rates rising as those in the rest of the country declined. Alaska is one such place, with over 600 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including high rates of sexual assault and rape. New Mexico’s crime rate for the same year was nearly as high as Alaska’s, with violence and theft concentrated around Albuquerque where about 775 violent crimes were committed for every 100,000 people.
Murder, nonnegligent manslaughter and rape have been on the rise in Nevada, where the crime rate is just over 590 incidents per 100,000 residents. And Tennessee’s rate of aggravated assaults dropped in 2013 but still remained high at more than 425 incidents per 100,000 residents. And we shouldn’t forget the District of Columbia because it may not be a state but it certainly adds to the total number of violent crimes in the country, with more than three times the murder rate that California has and five times that of New York. Another territory, Puerto Rico, has an astronomical murder rate as compared to the size of its population.
Unfortunately the common factors in high crime areas include low income, little education, and proximity to a high crime city.