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Crime Victimization Rises After Reaching 30-Year Low In Pandemic

The rate of nonfatal violent victimization in the U.S. rose to 23.5 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older last year, after reaching a 30-year low of during 2020–2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reports the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey. While the 2022 annual violent crime rates reached prepandemic levels, the last 3 decades saw an overall decline in the violent victimization rate from 79.8 to 23.5 per 1,000 from 1993 to 2022. The latest national rate was comparable to the pre-pandemic year 2018 and "remained much lower than the highs of the early 1990s,” said principal BJS Deputy Director Kevin Scott. The rate of violent victimizations reported to police followed a similar pattern, rising to 9.7 reported violent victimizations per 1,000 persons from 7.5 per 1,000 in 2021.

“Among all violent victimizations in 2022, about 2 in 5 were reported to police, which was about the same share as in 2021,” Scott said. Although the percentage of violent victimizations reported to police in 2022 (42%) was not statistically different from 2021, there were some significant decreases in reporting for certain types of crime. Reporting of assaults fell from 46% to 41% of victimizations from 2021 to 2022, partly due to reduced reporting of aggravated assaults (from 61% to 50%). The percentage of stranger violence declined ffrom 48% to 36% of victimizations. U.S. households experienced 13.4 million property victimizations in 2022, up from 11.7 million in 2021 but similar to the number in 2018. Property crime includes burglary, trespassing, motor vehicle theft, and other types of household theft. Motor vehicle theft victimization increased from a rate of 4.3 victimizations per 1,000 households in 2021 to 5.5 per 1,000 in 2022. Victims received assistance from a victim service provider in 9% of all violent victimizations in 2022.


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