Virginias official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures is now available online at the Virginia State Police Web site: http://www.vsp.virginia.gov. The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in the towns, cities, and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down crimes by offense, arrest data and jurisdiction.
The document also details 2007 crime trends within Virginia:
- Virginia experienced a decline in motor vehicle thefts for the second consecutive year.
- The report indicates a second year of increases in reported drug and narcotic offenses statewide.
- The report indicates a 2.6 percent decrease in violent crimes statewide from 2006 to 2007, compared to a national decrease of 1.4 percent as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
- Virginia experienced a slight increase of less than one percent in reported property crimes last year from 2006 to 2007, whereas, the FBI reports a nationwide decrease of 2.1 percent in property crimes in 2007.
- FBI figures reveal that arson nationwide decreased 7 percent in 2007 when compared to 2006 figures. Crime in Virginia reports a statewide 4.4 percent decrease in arson.
The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating, thus allowing for greater accuracy. The IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes, murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, property crimes and drug offenses; and Group B, less serious offenses including trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.
For Group A offenses, between 2006 and 2007, adult arrests in Virginia increased 7.9 percent. Juvenile offense arrests statewide increased 3.7 percent during the same time period. The Crime in Virginia reports that Group B arrests increased 3.9 percent for adults and 9 percent among juveniles from 2006 to 2007. There was a total of 314,843 arrests in 2006 compared to 332,330 arrests in 2007, representing an increase of 5.6 percent.
Per state mandate, the state police serve as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments, and sheriffs offices. The data is collected by the Departments Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via an automated system, and then compiled into a concise report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public.
Crime in Virginia reports from 1999 to the present are available by visiting the Virginia State Police Web site and clicking on Forms & Publications. The document is listed under Publications.