Friday, November 04, 2005

New "Crime and Arrests in Wisconsin" Report Issued

Paul Guequierre
Office of Justice Assistance


Violent Crime in Wisconsin Decreased by 2.2 Percent and Property Crime Decreased by 5.2 percent in 2004. Wisconsin’s Crime Rate Is Considerably Less than Both the Midwest and National Average.

Reported Index crime decreased by 5 percent in 2004, including a 11.5 percent decrease in murder, according to the “Crime and Arrests in Wisconsin - 2004 Report” issued today. The report was prepared by the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance and is based upon monthly reports submitted by more than 370 law enforcement agencies within the State.

The Property Crime Index decreased by 5.2 percent while the Violent Crime Index decreased by 2.2 percent. There was a 22.8 percent decrease in arson after a 6.4 percent increase last year. The overall decrease in crime was due to individual decreases in seven of the eight Index Crime categories. The only category showing an increase was aggravated assault which increased by 0.2 percent. Index Crime, established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a basis for nationwide crime data collection through the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the sum of the number of reported crimes for eight serious offense types including the four Violent Crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, together with the four Property Crimes of burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

The 2004 Crime and Arrests Report indicates that total adult arrests increased by 5.2 percent from 2003 to 2004, while total juvenile arrests decreased by 3.1 percent.

The percentage of Index Crimes cleared by law enforcement agencies improved somewhat, from 52.0 percent for violent crimes and 22.3 for property crimes in 2003 to 55.1 percent for violent crimes and 23.4 percent for property crimes during 2004. Last year’s clearance rate is much greater than the national clearance rate (47 percent for violent crimes and 16 percent for property crimes in 2003).

In addition, the report contains ten-year trends on offense and arrest patterns for reported Index Crime. For example, total Index Crime in Wisconsin decreased by 27.2 percent from 1994 to 2004. While total Violent Crime declined by 22.4 percent during the decade, total Property Crime decreased by 27.6 percent. From 1994 to 2004, adult arrests for Index Crimes declined by 7.4 percent. During the same period, juvenile arrests for Index Crimes decreased by 38.8 percent.

The total amount of property stolen decreased by 5 percent in 2004 when compared to 2003, and the recovery rate decreased from 42 percent in 2003 to 41 percent in 2004.

Wisconsin’s 2004 Violent Crime rate was more than 47 percent less than the 2003 Midwest rate and nearly 56 percent less than the 2003 rate in the United States. The Property Crime rate in Wisconsin was 20 percent less than the 2003 Midwest rate and nearly 25 percent less than the 2003 rate in the United States. Further, the odds of a Wisconsin resident being victimized by Violent Crime declined from 1994 to 2004. The likelihood of being a Violent Crime victim in Wisconsin decreased from 1 in 369 during 1994 to 1 in 475 in 2004.

Two Wisconsin law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty during 2004. There were 901 assaults on Wisconsin law enforcement officers reported during 2004, 17 percent more than the 767 assaults reported during 2003.

* * * *

The Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance is the state agency specifically charged with juvenile/criminal justice planning in Wisconsin and for administering funds made available to the state under provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, and other Federal programs. The agency also operates the Statistical Analysis Center, which is responsible for the state's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.