MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - For five consecutive years, the number of violent crimes reported nationwide have decreased, according to crime statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
The number of property crimes in 2011 are also seeing a decline, marking its ninth year on the downward trend.
The 2011 crime statistics estimate a decline on violent crimes by 3.8 percent and property crimes by 0.5 percent since 2010.
The statistics are calculated by the FBI as part of the annual crime report for the United States, compiling data on the numbers of offenses and arrests from agencies that participate in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
The UCR Program collects information on violent crimes which include murder and non negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The property crimes tabulated include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
In 2011, there were 18,233 city, county, university and college, state, tribal and federal agencies that participated in the UCR Program. A summary of the statistics reported by these agencies, which are included in Crime in the United States, 2011, conclude:
- Nationwide in 2011, there were an estimated 1,203,564 violent crimes.
- Each of the four violent crime offense estimates decreased when compared with the 2010 estimates. Robbery had the largest decrease at 4.0 percent, followed by aggravated assault with a 3.9 percent decline, forcible rape with a 2.5 percent decline, and murder and non negligent manslaughter with a 0.7 percent decrease.
- Nationwide in 2011, there were an estimated 9,063,173 property crimes.
- There was a 3.3 percent decline in motor vehicle theft and a 0.7 percent decline in larceny-theft offenses. Estimated burglary offenses increased by 0.9 percent when compared with the 2010 estimate.
- Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) lost an estimated $15.6 billion in 2011.
- The FBI estimated that in 2011, agencies nationwide made about 12.4 million arrests, excluding traffic violations.
- The 2011 arrest rate for violent crimes was 172.3 per 100,000 inhabitants; for property crime, the rate was 531.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and non negligent manslaughter was 3.5; forcible rape, 6.3; robbery, 34.5; and aggravated assault was 128.0 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants.
- By property crime offense, the arrest rate for burglary was 95.6; larceny-theft, 410.6; and motor vehicle theft, 21.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for arson was 3.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- In 2011, there were 14,633 law enforcement agencies that reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2011, they collectively employed 698,460 sworn officers and 303,524 civilians, a rate of 3.4 employees for each 1,000 inhabitants.
In South Carolina the total of violent crimes decreased by 4.2 percent from 2010 to 2011; however, the number of murders increased 20.8 percent and the forcible rape is up 3.9 percent.
There were 4,313 robberies reported in 2011 for a 14 percent decrease from the previous year.
Property crime in South Carolina increased by 0.9 percent.
Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties.
The FBI warns that these rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region.
Horry County Deputy Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says the ever-present tourist population plays a part of these high crime rates.
"Horry County, more than the other counties, has a transient population" Richardson said. "Figures will swell to over a quarter of a million and then go down again."
Richardson said when a law enforcement agency hires more officers that can attribute for an increase in reported crimes.
Visit the FBI's website to see a full breakdown of these numbers for each state.