The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released its annual survey of Criminal Victimization, 2008. The survey reports annual estimates of personal and property victimization, including the year-to-year change from 2007 and trends for the ten-year period from 1999 through 2008. As described by the Bureau, “the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) collects information on nonfatal crimes, reported and not reported to the police, against persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of US households. During 2008, 42,093 households and 77,852 individuals were interviewed twice for the NCVS. The report includes data on violent crimes (rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault), property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft and property theft), and personal theft (pocket picking and purse snatching), and the characteristics of victims of these crimes.”
Among the important points emphasized by the survey is the observation that, although the incidence of violent crimes in 2008 was statistically unchanged from the previous year, over the ten year period, the violent crime rate declined by 41% and the property crime rate fell by 32%.