Yampa Valley Data Partners: Craig's crime rate drops with national trends

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Recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program indicates local crime is on the decline.

The FBI has been collecting, publishing and archiving crime statistics as part of the UCR program since 1929. The data is produced from the information received from more than 18,000 city, university, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the program. The UCR data is the most comprehensive source for detailed crime statistics.

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Brandon Owens

The 2012 UCR report provides insight into local crime. Overall, it indicates the crime rate in Craig has fallen during the past five years. According to the data, there were 14 violent crimes against people reported in Craig in 2012.

Given the reported population level of 9,357, that works out to a violent crime rate of 0.1 percent. During this same period, 261 crimes against property were reported. This works out to a property crime rate of 2.8 percent. The rate of violent crime in Craig is well below the national average of 3.9 percent. The property crime rate is on par with the national average as reported in the 2012 UCR report.

A comparison of the 2012 UCR data with the 2007 data set indicates crime rates have fallen during the past five years. In 2007, 33 violent crimes were report in Craig. This level of violent crime was associated with a 0.4 percent crime rate. Reported property crimes in 2007 were 231, and the associated rate of property crime was 2.5 percent. Thus, in the past 5 years, the local violent crime rate dropped by 0.3 percent, and the property crime rate increased slightly.

The local drop in crime actually mirrors the national trend. Since 2007, the national violent crime rate dropped by 0.5 percent to 0.4 percent and the property crime rate dropped from 3.3 percent to 2.9 percent. Criminologists are debating the sources behind the national decline in the crime rate, but no single cause has been identified.

In addition to the standard summary UCR data, the FBI has another more detailed crime reporting system known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System. NIBRS captures more information than the UCR data because it records all of the criminal offenses for each crime incident, whereas the standard UCR data reflect only the most serious offense for any single incident.

The NIBRS data is consistent with the UCR data, but shows higher crime rates. A total of 765 offenses were reported in the 2012 NIBRS. Sixty percent of the reported offenses were crimes against property, the balance were either crimes against persons or drug offenses.

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