Homicides jump 30% in 2020 as violent crimes increase nationwide, says FBI


FILE – This Thursday, June 14, 2018, file photo, shows the FBI seal at a news conference at FBI headquarters in Washington. The FBI has been shaken by a series of sexual misconduct cases involving senior leadership over the past few years, including two new claims brought in December 2020 by women who say they were sexually assaulted by supervisors. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(ABC4) – For the first time in four years, the FBI says the estimated number of violent crimes in the U.S. increased when compared to the previous year. In the latest figures released Monday for 2020, the FBI reports violent crime was up 5.6% compared to 2019.

While violent crime increased, the FBI says property crimes dropped about 8%. This makes 2020 the 18th consecutive year where the collective estimates of property crimes declined with an estimated 1,958.2 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The estimated rate of violent crime rose 5.2% in 2020, reaching an estimated 387.8 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants.

This data is part of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement. These crimes include murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – all considered violent crimes – and property crimes like burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Arrest data for these offenses and 20 others that include all other crimes except traffic violations are also collected.

Here is a breakdown of how some of the estimated crimes reported in 2020 compare to those in 2019:

  • Robbery offenses drop 9.3%
  • Volume of rape offenses declines 12%
  • Aggravated assault offenses up 12.1%
  • Volume of murder, nonnegligent manslaughter increases 29.4%
  • Burglaries down 7.4%
  • Larceny-thefts down 10.6%
  • Motor vehicle thefts rise 11.8%

Estimates show victims of property crimes, excluding arson, lost $17.5 billion in 2020. The FBI estimates law enforcement agencies made 7.6 million arrests nationwide in 2020, excluding arrests for traffic violations.

According to the FBI’s latest data, there were over 6,300 violent crime incidents reported in Utah. Here is a breakdown of those incidents and how it compares to 2019:

  • 81 homicide incidents, up from 68
  • 1,515 rape incidents, down from 1,550
  • 1,159 robbery incidents, up from 1,057
  • 3,613 aggravated assault incidents, up from 3,267

Over 69,700 property crime incidents were reported in Utah in 2020. Here is a breakdown of those incidents and how it compares to 2019:

  • Arson: 277, up from 174
  • Burglary: 7,643, up from 7,130
  • Larceny-theft: 53,131, up from 47,471
  • Motor vehicle theft: 8,669, up from 5,931

While most incidents, with the exception of rape incidents, are up in Utah from 2019 to 2020, so is the number of law enforcement agencies reporting data to the National Incident-Based Reporting System. In 2019, 82 Utah agencies were reporting data. In 2020, that number jumped to 114.

To view the latest FBI data, click here.

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