Violent crime

A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which an offender or perpetrator uses or threatens to use force upon a victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder or rape, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end. Violent crimes may, or may not, be committed with weapons. Depending on the jurisdiction, violent crimes may vary from homicide to harassment. Typically, violent criminals includes aircraft hijackers, bank robbers, muggers, burglars, terrorists, carjackers, rapists, kidnappers, torturers, active shooters, murderers, gangsters, drug cartels, and others.

Violent crime by country

The comparison of violent crime statistics between countries is usually problematic, due to the way different countries classify crime.[1][2][3][4] Valid comparisons require that similar offences between jurisdictions be compared. Often this is not possible, because crime statistics aggregate equivalent offences in such different ways that make it difficult or impossible to obtain a valid comparison. Depending on the jurisdiction, violent crimes may include: homicide, murder, assault, manslaughter, sexual assault, rape, robbery, negligence, endangerment, kidnapping (abduction), extortion, and harassment. Different countries also have different systems of recording and reporting crimes.


The first annual national survey of crime victimization in Australia, the Crime Victimisation Survey, was conducted in 2008-09.[5] Personal crimes included in the survey are:

  • Physical assault
  • Threatened assault (including face-to-face and non face-to-face)
  • Robbery (including attempted)
  • Sexual assault (including attempted)

In 2009, the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), which had no single category for violent crime, was replaced by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC). The ANZSOC also has no single category for violent crime, but the first 6 of its divisions involve offenses committed against a person:

  1. Homicide and related offences;
  2. Acts intended to cause injury;
  3. Sexual assault and related offences;
  4. Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons;
  5. Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person;
  6. Robbery, extortion and related offences.


Canada conducts an annual measure of crime incidences called the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR).[6] UCR "Violent Criminal Code" violations include: homicide, attempted murder, sexual assault, assault, robbery, criminal harassment, uttering threats, and other violent violations.[7] Canada also collects information on crime victimization every five years via its General Social Survey on Victimisation (GSS). Among the eight GSS crimes tracked are three violent crimes: sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault.[8]

New Zealand

New Zealand's crime statistics[9][10] has a category for violence that includes homicides, kidnapping, abduction, robbery, assaults, intimidation, threats, and group assembly, while all sexual offences are shown in a separate category from violence.


Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, England, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece and Sweden count minor violence like slapping another person as assault.[1] An example is the case of Ilias Kasidiaris in 2012. Kasidaris, then spokesperson for Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party, slapped a left-wing female opponent in the face during a live televised debate. He was subsequently wanted by Greek prosecutors for assault and faced an arrest warrant.[11]

France does not count minor violence like slapping somebody as assault.[1]

The United Kingdom includes all violence against the person, sexual offences, as violent crime. Today violent crimes are considered the most heinous whereas historically, according to Simon Dedo, crimes against property were equally important.[12] Rates of violent crime in the UK are recorded by the British Crime Survey. For the 2010/2011 report on crime in England and Wales,[13] the statistics show that violent crime continues a general downward trend observed over the last few decades as shown in the graph. "The 2010/11 BCS showed overall violence was down 47 per cent on the level seen at its peak in 1995; representing nearly two million fewer violent offences per year." In 2010/11, 31 people per 1000 interviewed reported being a victim of violent crime in the 12 preceding months. Regarding murder, "increasing levels of homicide (at around 2% to 3% per year) [have been observed] from the 1960s through to the end of the twentieth century". Recently the murder rate has declined, "a fall of 19 per cent in homicides since 2001/02", as measured by The Homicide Index.

United States

Violent Crime in the United States
Violent crime in the United States per the Uniform Crime Report (UCR).[14]

There are two main crime databases maintained by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ): the Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Non-fatal violence is reported in the NCVS, which measures rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault reported by households surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau.[15] The UCR tracks similar non-fatal violence, plus murder and non-negligent manslaughter recorded by law enforcement.[16]

There are significant methodological and definitional differences between the NCVS and UCR:

  • The NCVS includes estimates of both reported and unreported crimes, while the UCR collects data on crimes recorded by the police.
  • The UCR includes homicide, arson, and commercial crimes, while the NCVS does not.
  • The UCR excludes simple assault (attacks or attempted attacks without a weapon resulting in either no injury or minor injury) and sexual assault, which are in the NCVS.
  • The NCVS data are estimates from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households, but the UCR data are based on the actual counts of offenses reported by law enforcement.
  • The NCVS excludes crimes against children under 12 years, persons in institutions, and, possibly, highly mobile populations and the homeless; however, victimizations against these persons may be included in the UCR.

Since they use different methodologies and measure overlapping, but not identical, crimes, the data are complementary and not necessarily congruent.[17]:9

Crime rates per 1000 population
NCVS category NCVS 2012[17] UCR 2012[18] UCR category
N/A 0.05 Murder / Non-negligent manslaughter
Rape / Sexual assault 1.3 0.3 Forcible rape
Robbery 2.8 1.1 Robbery
Aggravated assault 3.8 2.4 Aggravated assault
Simple assault 18.2 N/A

In October 2013, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported that violent crime (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) rates for U.S. residents aged 12 and older increased in 2012 for the second consecutive year. The overall rate rose from 22.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 2011 to 26.1 in 2012. Most of the increase was in simple assaults.[17]:1 From 1993 to 2012, overall violent victimization declined by two-thirds, from a rate of 79.8 per 1,000 to 26.1 per 1,000.[17]:6

In 2011, the UCR violent crime rate had dropped to 386.3 cases per 100,000 persons, compared to 729.6 per 100,000 in 1990.[19]

U.S. homicide data is also available in the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS).


  1. ^ a b c European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics – 2010, fourth edition, p30.
  2. ^ Segessenmann, Tanya Section 2 - International Comparisons of Recorded Violent Crime Rates for 2000, Research & Evaluation Unit, Ministry of Justice, Wellington, New Zealand. 11 June 2002 Retrieved 23 June 2007.
  3. ^ "Compiling and Comparing International Crime Statistics". Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  4. ^ "Crime statistics - Statistics Explained". Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  5. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014-02-11). "Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2012-13". Commonwealth of Australia.
  6. ^ "Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR)". 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  7. ^ "Crimes, by type of violation, and by province and territory". 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  8. ^ Perreault, Samuel; Brennan, Shannon (2013-05-31). "Criminal victimization in Canada, 2009". Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  9. ^ "Official New Zealand Police Statistics". Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  10. ^ New Zealand Recorded Crime Tables Archived June 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Greek far-right Golden Dawn MP wanted for assault. June 7, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  12. ^ Dedo, Simon (2014-04-24). "When Theft Was Worse Than Murder". Nautilus. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  13. ^ Home Office (2011-07-14). "British Crime Survey". Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  14. ^ "Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  15. ^ "Bureau of Justice Statistics: National Crime Victimization Survey". Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  16. ^ "FBI: Violent Crime". U.S. Department of Justice. 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  17. ^ a b c d Truman, Jennifer; Langton, Lynn (October 2013). "Criminal Victimization, 2012" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  18. ^ "Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1993–2012". Department of Justice. 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  19. ^ "Reported violent crime rate in the United States from 1990 to 2012". February 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-15. Using FBI data.

Further reading

External links

A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime

A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime provided funds to The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime and features five new Anti-Flag studio tracks along with five live songs recorded at Pittsburgh's Mr. Smalls in April 2007. Bassist Chris #2's family experienced the horror of losing a family member when his sister and her boyfriend were both murdered, leaving behind a young daughter and son. Anti-Flag’s reaction when faced with tragedy was to put together this limited edition benefit EP in hopes that it would help others who have gone through similar situations.


Carjacking is a robbery in which the item taken over is a motor vehicle.

Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative Resources Center

The Morgan P. Hardiman Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative Resources Center (CASMIRC) is part of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). CASMIRC was established as part of Public Law 105-314, the Protection of Children From Sexual Predators Act, passed by Congress on October 30, 1998. The legislation creates the center to reduce crime involving child abductions, mysterious disappearances of children, child homicide, and serial murder.

Child sexual abuse in Nigeria

Child sexual abuse in Nigeria is an offence under several sections of chapter 21 of the country's criminal code. The age of consent is 18.UNICEF reported in 2015 that one in four girls and one in ten boys in Nigeria had experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. According to a survey by Positive Action for Treatment Access, over 31.4 percent of girls there said that their first sexual encounter had been rape or forced sex of some kind.The Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development reported that 1,200 girls had been raped in 2012 in Rivers, a coastal state in southeastern Nigeria.According to UNICEF, six out of ten children in Nigeria experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18, with half experiencing physical violence.

Crime Classification Manual

Crime Classification Manual: A Standard System for Investigating and Classifying Violent Crimes (1992) is a text on the classification of violent crimes by John E. Douglas, Ann W. Burgess, Allen G. Burgess and Robert K. Ressler. The publication is a result of a project by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.A second edition of the book was published in 2006, and added 155 pages of new information and research.

Crime in Canada

Under the Canadian constitution, the power to establish criminal law and rules of investigation is vested in the federal Parliament. The provinces share responsibility for law enforcement (although provincial policing in many jurisdictions is contracted to the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police), and while the power to prosecute criminal offences is assigned to the federal government, responsibility for prosecutions is delegated to the provinces for most types of criminal offences. Laws and sentencing guidelines are uniform throughout the country, but provinces vary in their level of enforcement.

Crime in Chicago

Crime in Chicago has been tracked by the Chicago Police Department's Bureau of Records since the beginning of the 20th century. The city's overall crime rate, especially the violent crime rate, is higher than the US average. Chicago was responsible for nearly half of 2016's increase in homicides in the US, though the nation's crime rates remain near historic lows. The reasons for the higher numbers in Chicago remain unclear. An article in The Atlantic detailed how researchers and analysts had come to no real consensus on the cause for the violence.

Crime in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has struggled with crime for decades since the island became a United States territory in 1898. Police and political corruption in particular have posed problems ever since. Throughout that time, analysis have also warned of a cycle of violence between law enforcement and organized crime in the island. The significant trade of illegal drugs in Puerto Rico poses a recurrent problem, with the high prices of substances such as cocaine on the territory's streets causing large profit margins for criminals despite government actions.Violent crime has also been one of the challenges the island has struggled with for years. For example, in the mid-2000s, the territory ranked sixth worldwide in murders per capita. In reaction to those statistics, organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have enhanced efforts with the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and other local agencies, with the former larger groups having a major presence on the island. The combination of this fortified presence and other local measures has sparked commentary about a fundamental militarization of the police. The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, for instance, cautioned in 2011 that the PRPD was "broken in a number of critical and fundamental respects."The island's strategic geographic position further compounds its struggles with crime. As the island finds itself between a highly developed country—the continental United States—and various developing nations in the Caribbean, a unique economic and political situation arises that heightens the stakes on maintaining both domestic and regional security. Moreover, as the region evolved after the end of the Cold War, issues such as illegal migration and drug trafficking extended beyond local law enforcement to become matters affecting regional stability.To combat all these issues, the Puerto Rican government adopted a broad anti-crime policy referred to locally as the "iron fist" (Spanish: mano dura contra el crimen or simply mano dura). In 1993, Governor Pedro Rosselló summed up government efforts by remarking, "They have incited a war, and they'll get it: let criminals know that our patience is gone" (Spanish: Nos han pedido guerra y guerra tendrán. Que lo sepa el criminal: nuestra paciencia se acabó.). Even after adopting multiple measures, however, the territory has still suffered from significantly high per capita rates of violent crime. For example, a total of 736 individuals were murdered in Puerto Rico in 2006.

Crime in Romania

Crime in Romania is combated by the Romanian Police, Gendarmerie and other agencies.

Crime in South Africa

South Africa has a notably high rate of murders, assaults, rapes and other violent crimes, compared to most countries.

Crime in Vermont

This article refers to crime in the U.S. state of Vermont. Vermont is the safest state in the country with a violent crime rate of 118 incidents per 100,000 state residents.

Crime in the Philippines

Crime is present in various forms in the Philippines, and remains a serious issue throughout the country. Illegal drug trade, human trafficking, murder, corruption and domestic violence remain significant concerns. The Philippines has a high rate of murder cases, which is the highest in Southeast Asia as of 2014. Most major cities are plagued with high prevalence of crimes.

Crime in the United States

Crime in the United States has been recorded since colonization. Crime rates have varied over time, with a sharp rise after 1963, reaching a broad peak between the 1970s and early 1990s. Since then, crime has declined significantly in the United States, and current crime rates are approximately the same as those of the 1960s.Statistics on specific crimes are indexed in the annual Uniform Crime Reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and by annual National Crime Victimization Surveys by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In addition to the primary Uniform Crime Report known as Crime in the United States, the FBI publishes annual reports on the status of law enforcement in the United States. The report's definitions of specific crimes are considered standard by many American law enforcement agencies. According to the FBI, index crime in the United States includes violent crime and property crime. Violent crime consists of four criminal offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; property crime consists of burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Home invasion

In some parts of the United States and some other English-speaking countries, home invasion is an illegal and usually forceful entry to an occupied, private dwelling with intent to commit a violent crime against the occupants, such as robbery, assault, rape, murder, or kidnapping.

Indigenous Australians and crime

Indigenous Australians commit crimes and are imprisoned at a disproportionately high rate in Australia. According to one source, there is "gross overrepresentation of Indigenous offenders at all stages of the criminal justice system". The 2016 Australian Census documented that there were 649,171 Indigenous people, who are either Australian Aborigines or Torres Strait Islanders, in Australia, accounting for 2.8 percent of the population.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that in 2017 Indigenous Australians accounted for around 28% of Australia's prison population. The Australian government and local Indigenous groups have responded to these trends with numerous programs and measures.

Mayhem (crime)

Mayhem is a common law criminal offense consisting of the intentional maiming of another person.

Under the law of England and Wales and other common law jurisdictions, it originally consisted of the intentional and wanton removal of a body part that would handicap a person's ability to defend themself in combat. Under the strict common law definition, initially this required damage to an eye or a limb, while cutting off an ear or a nose was deemed not sufficiently disabling. Later the meaning of the crime expanded to encompass any mutilation, disfigurement, or crippling act done using any instrument.

National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime

The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) is a specialist FBI department. The NCAVC's role is to coordinate investigative and operational support functions, criminological research, and training in order to provide assistance to federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies investigating unusual or repetitive violent crimes (serial crimes).

The NCAVC also provides investigative support through expertise and consultation in non-violent matters such as national security, corruption, and white-collar crime investigations. President Reagan gave it the primary mission of ‘identifying and tracking repeat killers,’ a term he used for serial killers.

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355, Pub.L. 103–322 is an Act of Congress dealing with crime and law enforcement; it became law in 1994. It is the largest crime bill in the history of the United States and consisted of 356 pages that provided for 100,000 new police officers, $9.7 billion in funding for prisons and $6.1 billion in funding for prevention programs, which were designed with significant input from experienced police officers. Sponsored by Representative Jack Brooks of Texas, the bill was originally written by Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and then was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Following the 101 California Street shooting, the 1993 Waco Siege, and other high-profile instances of violent crime, the Act expanded federal law in several ways. One of the most noted sections was the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Other parts of the Act provided for a greatly expanded federal death penalty, new classes of individuals banned from possessing firearms, and a variety of new crimes defined in statutes relating to immigration law, hate crimes, sex crimes, and gang-related crime. The bill also required states to establish registries for sexual offenders by September 1997.

Violent Criminal Apprehension Program

The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) is a unit of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation responsible for the analysis of serial violent and sexual crimes, organizationally situated within the Critical Incident Response Group's (CIRG) National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC).

ViCAP was created in 1985 by the FBI out of Quantico, Virginia. Pierce Brooks was appointed as the first director, primarily because as a homicide detective in Los Angeles he had been the first to propose the idea. Brooks was inspired by the Harvey Glatman case he had worked on in which he realized serial homicides could be linked by their signature aspects. Brooks would later obtain a $35,000 government grant in an attempt to realize his idea. In 1982, he met with Robert Ressler to discuss the idea and was convinced by Ressler that VICAP should be located at Quantico, as opposed to Lakewood where Brooks originally planned to have it housed.

It is designed to track and correlate information on violent crime, especially murder. The FBI provides the software for the database which is widely used by state and local law enforcement agencies to compile information on:

sexual assault cases

solved and unsolved homicides, especially those involving a kidnapping or if they are apparently motiveless, sexual or random or suspected to be part of a series

missing persons, where foul play is suspected

unidentified persons, where foul play is suspectedCases fitting these categories can be entered into the system by law enforcement officials and compared to other cases in an attempt to correlate and match possible connections. ViCAP has been a tool in solving many cases, including cases decades old and cases in widely separated states. ViCAP is particularly valuable in identifying and tracking serial killers, where separate victims might not otherwise be connected as part of the same pattern.The aforementioned pattern that links serial homicides is what is commonly referred to as "signature". ViCAP operates under the knowledge that serial homicides are almost always sexually and control driven with a consistent evolving signature present in each murder.In the summer of 2008, the ViCAP program made its database available to all law enforcement agencies through a secure internet link. This allows for real time access to the database and allows agencies to enter and update cases directly into the database.

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