Full Text

Property Crime

Heith Copes and Crystal Null

Subject Law
Deviance and Social Control » Sociology of Crime

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Property crimes are defined as those offenses where offenders take money or property from victims without the use or threat of force. They include a long list of offenses such as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, shoplifting, fraud, embezzlement, and forgery. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines the first four of these offenses as Part I property crimes. These crimes make up the property crime index published yearly in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The majority of data collected by the FBI on property crime is concentrated around Part I offenses. The remaining offenses are classified as Part II property crimes in the UCR (FBI 2003). By far the largest number of crimes committed in the United States in any given year are crimes against property, which make up about three-quarters of all crime in the United States. Trends from the UCR and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) indicate that property crime rates have varied considerably over the past few decades. However, since 1992, property crime rates have begun to steadily decline to their current level. The estimated rate of property crime offenses known to the police in 2001 was 3,656 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is the lowest the rate has been since 1972. According to the NCVS, the rate of households victimized by property offenders has been steadily dropping from 544 in 1977 to 159 ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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