USA: One violent crime every 22 seconds

Tue Sep 25, 2007 ABC News

More than 1.4 million murders, rapes, robberies and assaults were committed around the United States last year, or a violent crime every 22 seconds, the FBI said.

"Nationwide, there were an estimated 1,417,745 violent crimes reported in 2006," the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in its 'Crime in the United States' report, which updated preliminary data released in June.

The number of victims of violent crime in the United States last year was the equivalent of the entire population of European Union member Estonia or the African state of Gabon falling victim to murder, rape, robbery or assault.

The rate of violent crime was up by 1.9 per cent compared with 2005, with murders climbing by 1.8 per cent to nearly 15,000 cases last year.

Nearly 450,000 people were robbery victims, marking a rise of 7.2 per cent on 2005.

Incidences of rape fell 2 per cent last year, while aggravated assault fell only slightly, by 0.2 per cent.

Less than half of violent crime cases - 44.3 per cent - were cleared, the data showed.

The murder weapon of choice was the firearm: of the 719 murder victims in the state of Pennsylvania, 77 per cent were killed by a gun and only 7 per cent by knives.

Big city dwellers were around 2.5 times more likely to become victims of violent crime than people who live in the countryside.

The FBI statistics showed that 514 violent crimes for 100,000 people were committed in large cities, against just 199 per 100,000 in rural settings.