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FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2010

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2010

Washington, D.C. December 20, 2010
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691
— filed under: Press Release

According to the FBI's Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report released today, the nation experienced a 6.2 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes from January to June 2010, when compared with data from the same time period in the prior year. The report is based on information from more than 12,000 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six comparable months of data to the FBI during the first six months of both 2009 and 2010.

Violent Crime

  • From January to June 2010, all four of the offense types in the violent crime category declined nationwide when compared with data for the same time period in 2009. Robbery fell 10.7 percent, murder was down 7.1 percent, forcible rape declined 6.2 percent, and aggravated assault decreased 3.9 percent.
  • Violent crime declined in all city groups, with the largest decrease, 8.3 percent, in cities with populations of 500,000 to 999,999 persons. Violent crime was also down in both nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties, with declines of 7.6 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.
  • For the six-month comparison period, violent crime fell in all four regions of the nation: 7.8 percent in the South, 7.2 percent in both the Midwest and the West, and 0.2 percent in the Northeast. The Northeast was the only region to experience an increase in murders, 5.7 percent. Murder declined in the other three regions—12.0 percent in the South, 7.1 percent in the West, and 6.3 percent in the Midwest.

Property Crime

  • Property crime was down 2.8 percent nationwide for the first six months of 2010 compared with data for the same months of 2009. Motor vehicle theft dropped 9.7 percent, larceny-theft fell 2.3 percent, and burglary decreased 1.4 percent.
  • Property crime declined in all four regions, with a 3.6 percent decrease in the South, a 3.1 percent decrease in the West, a 2.5 decrease in the Midwest, and a 0.2 percent decrease in the Northeast.
  • Cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants experienced a 4.8 percent drop in property crime. In nonmetropolitan counties, property crime increased 1.0 percent, but it decreased 2.4 percent in metropolitan counties.

Arson

Arson offenses, which are tracked separately from other property crimes, decreased 14.6 percent nationwide. By population group, the largest decline in the number of arson offenses (17.2 percent) was in cities with populations of 50,000 to 99,999 residents. Arson also fell in metropolitan counties by 21.6 percent and in nonmetropolitan counties by 19.4 percent. Law enforcement agencies in all four regions reported fewer arsons, including declines of 17.6 percent in the West, 14.3 percent in the South, 12.6 percent in the Midwest, and 10.2 percent in the Northeast.

Note: Caution against Ranking—When the FBI publishes crime data in its Uniform Crime Reports throughout the year, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

The complete Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2010, is available exclusively at http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats.

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FBI Releases 2009 Hate Crime Statistics

FBI Releases 2009 Hate Crime Statistics

Washington, D.C. November 22, 2010
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691
— filed under: Press Release

Today, the FBI released 2009 statistics which indicated that 6,604 criminal incidents involving 7,789 offenses were reported as a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. Hate Crime Statistics, 2009, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, includes data from hate crime reports submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.

Hate Crime Statistics, 2009, includes the following information:

  • Of the 6,598 single-bias incidents, 48.5 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 19.7 percent were motivated by a religious bias, 18.5 percent were motivated by a sexual-orientation bias, and 11.8 percent were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against a disability accounted for 1.5 percent of single-bias incidents.
  • There were 4,793 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2009. Intimidation accounted for 45.0 percent of crimes against persons, simple assaults for 35.3 percent, and aggravated assaults for 19.1 percent. Other offenses, including nine forcible rapes and eight murders, accounted for the remainder.
  • There were 2,970 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property; most of these (83.0 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. The remaining 17.0 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses.
  • An analysis of data for single-bias hate crime incident victims revealed that 48.8 percent were targeted because of the offender’s bias against a race, 18.9 percent because of a bias against a religious belief, 17.8 percent because of a sexual orientation bias, 13.3 percent because of an ethnicity/national origin bias, and 1.2 percent because of a disability bias.
  • Of the 6,225 known offenders, 62.4 percent were white, 18.5 percent were black, 7.3 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group), 1.0 percent were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 0.7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander. The race was unknown for the remaining known offenders.
  • The largest percentage (31.3 percent) of hate crime incidents occurred in or near homes. In addition, 17.2 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys, or streets; 11.4 percent happened at schools or colleges; 6.1 percent in parking lots or garages; and 4.3 percent in churches, synagogues, or temples. The remaining 29.7 percent of hate crime incidents took place at other specified locations, multiple locations, or other/unknown locations.


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Climate Change Will Seriously Impact Human Health

Press Release

Climate Change Will Seriously Impact Human Health, But Research Lacking, Peer-Reviewed Report Concludes

Research needs to increase by nearly $200 million to study risks, opportunities for interventions

Posted: 18-Mar-2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:

Jennifer Andreassen, 202-572-3387, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">'+addy_text16549+'<\/a>'; //-->

John Balbus, 202-572-3316, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">'+addy_text69452+'<\/a>'; //-->


(Washington, D.C. – March 18, 2009) Climate change will seriously impact public health, but the United States is failing to support the research needed to prepare for it, according to a report published in the peer-reviewed journal published by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

 

"The lack of attention from the Federal government on the health risks of climate change to U.S. populations is needlessly putting multitudes at risk," warns the report, "U.S. Funding is Insufficient to Address the Human Health Impacts of and Public Health Responses to Climate Variability and Change," published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

 

The report is co-authored by the same authors who wrote the Climate Change and Human Health chapter in the July 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report: "Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems," including Environmental Defense Fund"s Chief Health Scientist Dr. John Balbus.  Dr. Balbus also is a member of the National Academy of Science Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine, and the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Global warming is expected to worsen many health problems, including heat-related mortality, diarrheal diseases, and diseases associated with exposure to ozone and allergens from the air.  Health effects are also likely to result from altered air, water, agriculture, and ecosystems processes, according to the report. 

 

Despite these facts, federal funding of health research related to climate change is estimated to be less than $3 million per year. The report concludes that more than $200 million is needed annually to sponsor "robust intra- and extramural programs" in federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

 

Funding research in climate change and health research "that is directly linked to protective action at the local level is a wise investment, consistent with the goals of restoring economic stability, justice and environmental quality, and reducing health care costs," according to the report.

 

The inadequate level of U.S. funding, the report states, "appears to be due to the low priority placed on identifying and managing the health risks of climate change by Congress and the Federal government."  The report also concludes that reporting of the research funding needs more transparency and clarity.

 

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Penalties for Sex Offenses in Pennsylvania Continue to Escalate

Penalties for Sex Offenses in Pennsylvania Continue to Escalate

Recently, Pennsylvania passed a new law that makes "grooming" offenses a felony. The state is considering several other measures that would increase the penalties for convicted sex offenders. 

 

November 19, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Tougher penalties for "grooming"
In October, Gov. Ed Rendell signed into law a bill that enforces tougher penalties for so-called "grooming offenses" - i.e. when a person in a position of authority commits a sex offense against a person in their trust. The law targets those who have mentoring relationships with minors, like teachers, clergy members and police officers, for example.

Officially charged as corruption of a minor under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code, the new law increases the penalties for this crime from a misdemeanor to a felony with a maximum seven year sentence and $15,000 fine. Additionally, the new law broadens the authority of the Attorney General and District Attorneys' offices to investigate and prosecute grooming offenses that occur across county or state lines. The new penalties for grooming offenses take effect in December.

Additional Sex Offender Laws on the Horizon
There are several other potential laws in the works that would further restrict the rights of those who have been convicted of committing sex crimes in Pennsylvania. While state legislators, district attorneys and the police spend significant amounts of time arguing how important it is that these measures are adopted into law, little time has been spent debating how these measures restrict the First Amendment rights of those who already have served their sentences.

Some of the measures being discussed include:

GPS monitoring devices

Requiring sex offenders to register their current address is not enough for the Allegheny County District Attorney's office. The DA wants to require convicted sex offenders to wear GPS monitoring devices on their ankles once they are released from prison, a measure the Allegheny County Chiefs of Police also supports. The DA argues that the devices could be used to monitor the day-to-day activities of convicted sex offenders, with a particular interest when offenders get too close to schools, daycares, playgrounds and other places they are prohibited to go under Pennsylvania law.

Allegheny Councilman Vince Gastgeb not only supports the DA's suggestion, but wants to take it one step further and place in-the-ground electronic fences around schools and other areas where children are present. When a person wearing a GPS device crosses one of the fences, then the police would be notified automatically by computer.

Social networking site restrictions

A bill has been proposed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that potentially could ban convicted sex offenders from social networking sites like Facebook. Under the Pennsylvania Kids Act (HB 2742), convicted sex offenders and sexually violent predators would be required to provide the state police with their online identities and Internet accounts, which would include email addresses, personal Web sites, chat room aliases and online community memberships. The state police then would create a database with this information that would be accessible by internet service providers. While the law would not require providers to ban convicted offenders from social networking sites, they would be heavily "encouraged" to do so.

The bill has been gaining significant support in the House and from the police, who argue it will give law enforcement officers another tool to protect children from online predators. The Pennsylvania chapter of the ACLU, however, has argued that the bill infringes on individual's rights to free speech. During committee hearings, the ACLU correctly pointed out that those who have committed crimes and completed the terms of their punishments do not give up their First Amendment freedoms, including free speech, once they are released from prison.

Teen sexting bill

A bill that criminalizes sexting by minors was passed by the House of Representatives over the summer, and is currently sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee. H.B. 2189 applies to 13 to 19 year olds and makes the knowing transmission, dissemination, viewing or possession of texts depicting sexually explicit conduct of other minors a crime. Under the proposed legislation, the penalties range from a summary offense to a second degree misdemeanor. The bill also provides alternative sentences to jail, including community service and educational programs.

The bill is supposed to fix a loophole in Pennsylvania law that allows teens caught sexting to be charged with felony child pornography charges. If convicted of the felony, teens could be required to register as sex offenders. While the bill would close the loophole, criminalizing the conduct raises serious constitutional concerns, including those of freedom of expression.

Conclusion

Sex offenders are treated differently from any other class of convicted offenders. The punishments for their crimes do not end once they are released from prison, but rather just begin. If you have been charged or are being investigated for committing a sex crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today.




 

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Internet Crime Complaint Center Reaches 2 Million Entries

Internet Crime Complaint Center Reaches 2 Million Entries

Washington, D.C. November 15, 2010
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Fairmont, WV—The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has logged its 2 millionth consumer complaint alleging online criminal activity. The milestone entry was submitted on November 9, 2010.

The IC3, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, became operational in May 2000 and received its 1 millionth complaint seven years later, on June 11, 2007. It took half that time to receive the 2 millionth complaint, which illustrates the IC3’s increased visibility and the continued growth of cyber crime.

The IC3 receives, develops, and refers cyber crime complaints to local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies. The IC3 gives cyber crime victims a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations.

Since its inception, the IC3 has referred 757,016 criminal complaints to law enforcement around the globe. The majority of referrals involved fraud in which the complainant incurred a financial loss. The total reported loss from these referrals is approximately $1.7 billion, with a median reported loss of more than $500 per complaint.*

Many complaints involved identity theft, such as loss of personally identifying data, and the unauthorized use of credit cards or bank accounts. The IC3 uses information from the complaints to detect emerging trends and proactively fight consumer victimization through educational efforts with project partners, various publications and the consumer education website, www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.

Visit www.ic3.gov for more information. To schedule interviews, contact the FBI National Press Office at 202-324-3691 or the National White Collar Crime Center’s Press Office, 800-221-4424.

*Statistics reflect reporting through 2009.

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