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Law enforcement experts note that there are many factors that effect crime rates. Not only do these factors vary from state to state, but from one community to another. As noted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime in the United States, the following key factors contribute to a community’s crime rate:

Ø       How strictly an agency interprets and enforces laws

Ø       Citizens’ attitudes toward crime

Ø       Policies of prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probation agencies

Ø       Economic conditions (e.g., poverty level, median family income, unemployment rate)

Ø       Socio-economic factors, such as education level, divorce rates, etc.

Ø       Transportation system

Ø       Industrial and economic base

Ø       Tourist and convention activity

Ø       Proximity to correctional facilities and military installations

Ø       Dependence on mutual aid agreements

 

The crime statistics and other data presented are common law enforcement indicators that are collected nationally[i]. Population is the only variable on which the indicators are analyzed. There is no one single indicator that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of a state’s law enforcement efforts. Instead, the data along with an in-depth analysis of other economic and social indicators is required to develop a more thorough understanding of the crime rate and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in combating crime.

  

1.  Violent crime rate[ii]

Definition:  This indicator represents the total number of reported violent crimes per 100,000 population. These data represent the crime known to and reported to law enforcement agencies. There are crimes committed that are not reported and, therefore are not included in these data. 

Significance: Crime rate is the most common indicator of safety in a community.   

 

Historical/Trend Analysis, Violent Crime Rate

 

Data reflect South Carolina (SC) average, United States (US) average, and Southeast (SE)  average.  The southeast region consists of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Source:  United States Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

Selected State Rankings, Violent Crime Rate, 2009 (“1” represents the state with the highest violent crime rate)

SC

NC

GA

TN

NV

ME

2

21

19

3

1

50

670.8

404.3

426.1

667.7

702.2

119.8

 

Note:  From 2004 to 2009, South Carolina’s violent crime rate was consistently higher than the US and Southeast rates. In 2009, South Carolina’s violent crime rate was 56% higher than the US rate and 42% higher than the Southeast. Overall, the violent crime rate has decreased since 2004. 

 

2.  Property crime rate[iII]

Definition:  This indicator represents the total number of reported property, or non-violent crimes, per 100,000 population. These data represent the crime known to and reported to law enforcement agencies. There are crimes committed that are not reported and, therefore, are not included in these data.

Significance: Crime rate is the most common indicator of safety in a community.   

 

HISTORICAL/TREND ANALYSIS, Property Crime Rate

Data reflect South Carolina (SC) average, United States (US) average, and Southeast (SE)  average.  The southeast region consists of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Source:  United States Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

Selected State Rankings, Property Crime Rate, 2009 (“1” represents the state with the highest property crime rate)

SC

NC

GA

TN

TX

SD

2

9

11

7

1

50

3888.6

3,668.1

3,666.6

3,754.1

4,015.5

1,719.4

 

Note:  In 2009, South Carolina’s property crime rate was 28% higher than the US rate and almost identical to the Southeast rate. Since 2004, there has been a decrease in property crime rates.

Revised 04.13.2011

 


 

[i] Abstract on FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/word.htm

 

[ii] The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines violent crimes as murder/ manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

 

[iii] The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines property crimes as burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft.

rt.   

 

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