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by Peter Moskos

September 26, 2016

2015 UCR is out

The 2015 UCR is finally out. This means we have real numbers on last year. And the numbers are not good. Homicide is up 10.8 percent. That's biggest increase in 45 years. Don't downplay it.

I'll talk about that in my next post, but first the boring roundup:

Firearms were used in 71.5 percent, which is up from last year's 67.9 percent. That's 1,500 more murders by firearm.

52.3 percent of all victims are black. (Up ever-so-slightly from 51 percent in 2014.) 906 more black men were killed in 2015 compared to 2014 (6,115 vs. 5,209). That's a very big 17.4 percent increase (murder among white men when up 9.2 percent). To put those numbers in perspecdtive, police shot and killed 248 black men last year (and 10 black women). Most of those were justified.

21 percent of homicide victims are women, same as last year. And women are 7 percent of known offenders.

And though I don't like looking at other crime stats (because I don't trust their reliability) rape, robbery, and aggravated assult are all up as well. Reported property crimes are down a bit, but I suspect that's more due to people's decreasing desire to call the police or waiting for them to show up.


Unknown said...

The increase in murders is entirely due to firearms. 1494 more murders in 2015. 1492 more firearm murders in 2015. Not sure of exactly what that means, but seems significant that all other types of murders are entirely flat.

Moskos said...

It was the same in the late 1980s. It's an indicator that the homicides increase is coming predominately from poor black men in cities with access to guns and who are involved in the drug trade. That's the MO.

LemmusLemmus said...

Regarding the validity of crime data, I tend to trust robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft data, at least in terms of changes or comparisons between places. That's almost entirely based on Gove et al. (1985)* - not the ideal source one might wish for, but still the best I know of.

* http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-9125.1985.tb00350.x/abstract

Moskos said...

Car theft also tends to be good data. It's just that so few cars are being stolen these days (as opposed to 20 years ago). Burglary to a lesser extent. Both are considered more reliable than other data because people report them for insurance reasons.

But in poor neighborhoods where people don't have cars or insurance, I think the reliability plummets. And certainly from my policing experience, many if not most calls that came out burglary were not. (Though most did not get counted as burglary, for UCR purposes.)

LemmusLemmus said...

Peter: Car theft is a part of motor vehicle theft, no?

Moskos said...

Same thing (I mean, as I uses it, not technically). I meant MV theft.