criminal victimization

The most insightful information can typically be obtained by placing the data gathered into a larger context and analyzing criminal victimization patterns over time. Criminalists rely on two national data sources to estimate these trends, especially the national crime victimization survey and the federal bureau of investigations' uniform crime reporting programs. The views of these two departments differ in how they gather data, but the sources from which the data is gathered is where the biggest divide exists.

Typically, the Uniform Crime Reporting Program reports data on crimes that are known to municipal and state law enforcement. It includes all victims regardless of their ages in addition to non-individual victims such as business organizations and operational groups. On the other hand, the national crime victimization survey heavily relies on victim reports. It is based on nationally large representatives of household-oriented samples that collect information regarding victimization of individuals ranging from 12 years of age and above.

Therefore, the national crime victimization survey provides a supplementary measure to the uniform crime reporting programs and provides important insights, not the crimes that go unreported. Since both organizations have been tested several years, they have been proved to provide necessary information to determine the prevalence of criminal offenses in the United States.

The trend of crime data from the two sources shows that there is a substantial decline in crime rates when compared to crime rates during the 1970s and 1980s (Strom et al., 2006). The data reported according to the National crime victimization survey shows that from 2000 up to date there is a downward trend of criminal acts much as some occasional fluctuations happen for specific crimes including the past increase in violence crimes from the beginning of 2011 and continuing to 2013 (Langton, Planty, and Truman, 2012).

Present the national data and trends on the crime prevalence using the FBI’s uniform crime reporting program and the NCVS

The uniform crime reporting programs of the Federal Bureau of the Investigation indicate that there is a decline in crime rates over the last two decades. The rate of non-fatal and fatal violent crimes that are known to law enforcement in 1993 was 747.1 per 100,000 people. By 2010, the rate had reduced to 386.9 per 100,000 people in the United States. Historically, the rate of violent victimization for males is higher than that of females. For instance, in 1993, the rate of male violent victimization was 96.8 per 1000 persons aged 12 and above according to the national crime victimization survey while the rate of female violent victimization was standing at 63.7 per 1000 people aged 12 years and above. By 2012, the rate of violent victimization in males had reduced 291 per 100 people aged 12 years and above whereas in females the rate of violent victimization had reduced to 23.3 per 1000 people aged 12 years and above (NCVS, 2013). The percentage of those victims accused of violent crimes reported through the national crime victimization survey remained relatively stable from 1993 to 2012 while ranging from 26 percent in 1993 to 23 percent in 2012 ( NCVS, 2013).

Homicides prevalence rated according to the UCR data indicate that murder and non-negligent man slaughtering rate were standing at 9.5 per 1000 people in 1993 and this rate reduced and finally remained active in 2000 before coming to a low rate of about 4.7 per 100, 0000 people in 2010. The rate of murder has relatively remained stable between 2011 to 2012 stands at 4.7 per 10000 people in the years (Blair and Martindale, 2013). However, in recent years starting from 2013, the number of incidences known as mass murder, active shorter cases, and active shorter events has increased. Such fatalities have been included in homicide statistics and significantly affect the city level not the national levels because they contribute a small fraction to the national murder rate (Blair and Martindale, 2013).

The table below summarizes the crime prevalence’s in the United States from the year 2014 to 2015 as obtained from the uniform crime-reporting program of the federal bureau of investigations

Table1: Comparison of crime rates in the US from 2014 to 2015

The above table indicated that apart from robbery, other crime offenses have reduced significantly from 2014 to 2015. Several reasons might have contributed to the decline including the government initiatives taken to identify the suspects and convict them a soon as possible.

Present graphical statistical crime data for a specific category of crime from three comparable cities.

Generally, the rate of sexual assault reported by victims through the national crime victimization survey has declined in the last fifteen years going from 150 per 100000 persons aged 12 years and above in 2002 to 90 per 100000 persons aged 12 years ad above in 2011. However, there was a 44.4 % increase from the year 2011 to 2012. The uniform crime reporting program of the FBI Shows that in 2002, the rate of sexual assault prevalence was standing at 33.1 per 100000 people and slowed down to 26.9 per 100000 people in 2012 (Rand and Rennison, 2015). Both definitions have been providing differing information about rape and sexual abuse because of different methodologies used to gather data. The national research council report showed that the rate of rape and sexual assault prevalence has been significantly underestimated by the national crime victimization survey because of its role to provide an annual estimate and data trends for a variety of crimes (Rand and Rennison, 2015).

In this assessment, I intend to compare three cities namely Austin, Dallas, and Houston, In terms of the prevalence rate of rape and sexual assault for a period of five years.

Fig.1: Comparison of cities in Texas region in terms of aggravated assault cases

Compared to other cities in the Texas region, Austin has the bigger population of about 500,000 to 1,500,000. According to the uniform crime-reporting program, of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the population of Austin city was standing at 9380000 people in 2015. The rate of crime prevalence in the Austin city was 4143 victims per 100,000 people, which was 13% less than the average rate of 4738 victims in all large cities of the United States. In 2015, there were about 2058 reported victims of aggravated assault from 2105 offenses reported in 2014 (Rand and Rennison, 2015). Austin’s contribution was 219 victims, while the contributions of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston were 303, 338 and 458 victims respectively as shown in the graph below.

Fig.2: Comparison of cities in Texas region in terms of rape cases

Of the 487 reported rape victims in 2015, Austin’s rate was standing at 50 victims per 100,000 residents, which was 18 % less than 63 per 100,000 persons. The reported number of rape victims was 10 percent less than that of the average United States large cities in the Texas region. For instance, in Dallas, only 60 victims per 100,000 people were reported in 2015 while in Houston, only 43 victims per 100,000 people were the reported of rape (Rand and Rennison, 2015).

What crime prevention programs or initiatives are available to potentially address the crime or criminal issue?

The police in the United States has taken two initiatives to address sexual assault and rape crimes namely by exception or by arrest (Langton, Planty, and Truman, 2012). A crime is cleared off exceptionally in case circumstances cannot allow any arrest for instance, in case the offender dies or when the victim has refused to cooperate with the prosecution department of police. Alternatively, when the offender is on trial being prosecuted in any other jurisdiction and cannot be extradited (Langton, Planty, and Truman, 2012).

In other cases, there are Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or SANE employed in some hospitals, which handle sexual assault cases and gather evidence through sexual assault kits. In one study conducted to assess the effectiveness of sexual assault nurse examiners programs discovered that the probability of being prosecuted over sexual assault cases increase when the SANE gathers the forensic evidence despite the characteristics of the assault and the victim. In addition, municipalities in the whole United States are working tirelessly to identify offenders of sex assault by identifying the untested sexual assault kits (Langton, Planty, and Truman, 2012).

DNA is also currently used as an effective alternative to solve the challenge of crime prevalence in the United States (McGivney, 2014). When DNA is collected upon arrest, it can prevent and solve the crime. In the study conducted in the city of Chicago, it was discovered that when DNA is taken upon one's arrest, it could prevent the sexual assault and rape crimes. While reviewing the criminal history of eight felons convicted, it was discovered that 60 violent crimes including 30 rape cases and 22 murder cases, could have been prevented in case DNA was collected before the felony’s arrest and compared the DNA database hence identifying and apprehending offenders as soon as possible (McGivney, 2014).


Much as there are similar crime offenses committed in the United States, the rate of crime prevalence has generally decreased over the last 20 years. The trend shows a potential decline because of the new technological innovations ad scientific discoveries going on to identify the offenders.


Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCVS, (2013), Rates of Violent Victimizations, 1993−2012, generated using the NCVS Victimization Analysis Tool, accessed August 7, 2014, http://www.

Kevin J. Strom et al., (2006). The 2006 Survey of Law Enforcement Evidence Processing. Washington DC: National Institute of Justice, NCJ 228415, accessed November 1, 2014,

Lynn Langton, Michael Planty, and Jennifer Truman (2012).Criminal Victimization, Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice 2013, accessed August 7, 2014,

Michael R. Rand and Callie Marie Rennison (2015), "Bigger Is Not Better: An Analysis of Violence against Women Estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey and the National Violence against Women Survey,” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 21, no. 3: 267-91, accessed September 5, 2016.

National Research Council (2013), Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault, Washington DC: The National Academies Press, 2013, accessed September 11, 2014,

Pete Blair and Hunter Martindale (2013), “United States Active Shooter Events from 2000 to 2014: Training and Equipment Implications,” Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, Texas State University, 2013, vol 3, accessed November 1, 2014,

Timothy J. Mcgivney (May 2, 2014), 100th Indictment for DNA Cold Case Task Force Targets Murder and Serial Rapist, accessed August 6, 2014, https://www.

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