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FBI UCR – Uniform Crime Report

The FBI finalized the 2017 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) yesterday. The UCR collects data from law enforcement agencies across the country. There are nearly 18,000 agencies and not all of them report. Reporting statistics for the UCR is voluntary, so it is not a complete picture of crime in the United States. After two years of increases in violent crime, the nation saw a slight drop of -0.2% from 2016 UCR numbers. Property crime saw the biggest drop, -3.0%.

There seems to be an issue with the Murder Data. In 2016, there were 17,250 Murders reported to the FBI UCR. In 2017, the number was 17,284, which make it a positive 34. We’ll have to wait and see.

2016 Murder Stats

2017 Murder Stats

UPDATE: The reason for the decline in murder was the revision upwards of the 2016 stats to 17,413. This would also mean that murder was now up 22% over the past two-years.


In 2017, there were 17,284 murders in the U.S. This was a decline of -0.7% from 2016 figures. The decline doesn’t sound significant, but it comes after a nearly 20% increase over the past two years. What is more significant is the increase in the murder clearance rate. A clearance happens when an arrest is made or the case is closed by exceptional means, i.e. suspect is deceased. The murder clearance rate climbed to 61.5% up from 59.4%. A murder clearance rate of 61.5% means that 6,654 murders are still unsolved or do I dare say, cold.


The Rape statistics are still a struggle to analyze. The FBI has two categories, The Legacy Definition, and the Revised Definition. In 2017, there were 135,755 Rapes reported in the U.S. This was an increase of 2.5%. What is more concerning is that the clearance rate for Rape continues to fall. In 2017, the clearance rate was 34.5%. Law enforcement continues to struggle with closing Rape cases by arrest. It is time for a national discussion on how to improve rape clearance rates.

The UCR contains statistics on all of the other major felonies: Robbery, Felony Assault, Burglary, Grand Larceny, Grand Larceny Auto, and Arson. The crimes are broken into two categories (in order of severity):

Crimes Against the Person

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Felony Assault

Crimes Against Property

  • Burglary
  • Grand Larceny
  • Grand Larceny Auto
  • Arson

Murder Accountability Project

I spoke with Thomas Hargrove of the Murder Accountability Project (MAP). “Yes, clearance rates inched up a bit from 2016, but last year was the worst on record. Compared to other Western nation’s murder clearance rates, were in the cellar. There is no cause for celebration.” Mr. Hargrove also mentioned an issue with the FBI data and will he will be addressing it shortly at MAP website.

Access the entire UCR here.