Friday, September 21, 2007

Crime is up in Pennsylvania

Crime is up across Pennsylvania in just about every category except murder.

Those are the conclusions of the 2006 Uniform Crime Report released by State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller.

The number of crime index offenses in Pennsylvania reported to state police through the Uniform Crime Reporting system increased by 1.4 percent last year, although the number of murders in the state dropped by 5 percent, Miller said in a prepared statement.

The 2006 report contains crime statistics submitted by 1,165 police jurisdictions in the state, a net increase of 57 jurisdictions over the number that reported for 2005, Miller said.

Overall, crime index offenses in Pennsylvania increased from 334,596 in 2005 to 339,237 last year, Miller said.

"Crime index offenses are those considered most likely to be reported to police and, as a result, are used nationally as a way to compare criminal activity," Miller said. "They include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, motor-vehicle theft and arson."

The breakdown of reported crime index offenses for 2006:
  • Murders decreased 5 percent from 759 to 721;
  • Forcible rapes increased 0.6 percent to 3,434;
  • Robberies jumped 8.3 percent to 20,299;
  • Aggravated assaults went up 1 percent to 27,978;
  • Burglaries climbed 1.8 percent to 54,482;
  • Larcenies/thefts increased 1 percent to 201,731;
  • Motor-vehicle thefts inched up 0.1 percent to 28,280; and
  • Arsons dropped 5.4 percent to 2,312.
The Uniform Crime Report also includes figures on 18 other types of crime, known as Part II offenses, which 2.5 percent to 644,926. Included in the Part II violations are reported incidents of vandalism — up 6 percent to 142,558 — and reported drug-abuse violations — up 5.9 percent to 52,259.

Other highlights from the 2006 UCR:

  • Arrests of juveniles for crime index offenses decreased 0.9 percent to 18,657 in 2006. Arrests of juveniles for all crimes climbed 3.3 percent to 111,315;
  • Total number of crimes reported to state police increased 2.1 percent to 984,187 in 2006.
  • Reported "hate crime" incidents decreased from 151 in 2005 to 129 in 2006. Hate crime incidents are those motivated by bias against an individual or group based on the actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity;
  • Crimes reported on college campuses in the state increased 4.6 percent to 26,859;
  • Arrests for driving under the influence increased 7.8 percent to 48,698. Of the total, 79.2 percent of those arrested were male;
  • The number of assaults on police officers in Pennsylvania increased 5.1 percent to 3,120 in 2006.
Miller said the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting system is Web-based, which allows enforcement agencies to enter monthly data directly into a state police database.

Anyone can view the data as soon as it is submitted. "With the Web-based system, police can submit data at any time," Miller said. "As a result, the numbers listed in the 2006 UCR Annual Report are subject to change as police departments update or review their reports."

The full report is available online at

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