As the ultimate goal of criminal investigations, arrests are often viewed by the public as a primary gauge of law enforcement's response to crime. Arrest practices, policies, and enforcement emphasis vary from place to place and even within an agency from time to time. The arrest practices for certain unlawful conduct such as disorderly conduct, vagrancy, and related violations also may differ among agencies. However, arrest practices for cases involving crimes, such as murder, rape, and robbery, are more likely to be uniform and consistent throughout all jurisdictions.
In the UCR Program, one arrest is counted for each separate occasion in which an individual is arrested, cited, or summoned for criminal acts in Part I and Part II crimes. (See Appendix II.) An individual may be arrested several times during the year, so the arrest figures in this section should not be viewed as an annual accounting of the number of persons arrested, but rather, as the number of arrests reported by law enforcement.
National Volume, Trends, and Rates
In 2002, law enforcement agencies nationwide made an estimated 13.7 million arrests for criminal infractions excluding traffic violations. (See Table 29.) Arrests for drug abuse violations and driving under the influence, estimated at 1.5 million arrests for each offense in 2002, accounted for 21.8 percent of all arrests. (Based on Table 29.) Arrests for simple assaults totaled 1.3 million, and larceny-theft arrests totaled 1.2 million. (See Table 29.) The total number of arrests for all offenses in 2002 increased 0.5 percent nationally when compared to the number of arrests in 2001. Arrests for offenses that make up the Crime Index rose 0.2 percent. Arrests for violent crime decreased 0.8 percent, and arrests for property crime increased 0.6 percent. (See Table 36.) The 5-year trend (1998-2002) showed that total arrests (for both Part I and Part II crimes) decreased 7.9 percent. When compared to 1998 arrest data, violent crime arrests in 2002 were down 7.3 percent and property crime arrests fell 12.5 percent. (See Table 34.) A comparison of the number of arrests for the 10 years, 1993 to 2002, revealed a 1.9 percent decline in total arrests. In 2002, arrests for violent crime were down 13.4 percent and arrests for property crime fell 25.2 percent from the 1993 numbers. (See Table 32.) In relation to the total U.S. population, the arrest rate was 4,783.4 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. Nationally, law enforcement personnel arrested persons for offenses that make up the Crime Index at a rate of 788.4 per 100,000 in population. In 2002, the violent crime arrest rate was 217.9 per 100,000 persons, and the property crime arrest rate was 570.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. (See Table 30.)
By Age, Sex, and Race
Nationwide, adults accounted for 83.5 percent of persons arrested in 2002. Juveniles were most often arrested for larceny-theft, and adults were most often arrested for driving under the influence. (See Table 38.) Overall, arrests of adults increased 1.2 percent, and arrests of juveniles decreased 3.0 percent when compared to the number of arrests during 2001. (See Table 36.) In 2002, males comprised 77.0 percent of the persons arrested in the United States. Further, males accounted for 82.6 percent of violent crime arrestees and 69.3 percent of property crime arrestees. The offenses for which males were most frequently arrested were drug abuse violations and driving under the influence. The offenses for which females were most frequently arrested were larceny-theft. (See Table 42.) A comparison of 2001 arrest data to 2002 data revealed that the number of males arrested remained virtually unchanged, but the number of females arrested increased 2.1 percent. (See Table 37.) The 5-year trend (1998-2002) showed a 9.1 percent decline in the number of males arrested and a 3.4 percent decrease in the number of females arrested. (See Table 35.) In 2002, the number of males arrested was 5.9 percent below the number arrested in 1993, but the number of females arrested increased 14.1 percent from the 1993 number. (See Table 33.) By race, 70.7 percent of arrestees in 2002 were white, 26.9 percent were black, and the remainder were of other races. Whites accounted for 65.5 percent of the individuals arrested for Index crimes. The offense for which whites were arrested most often was driving under the influence. The offense for which blacks were arrested most often was drug abuse violations. (See Table 43.)
Regional Arrest Rates
The UCR Program divides the United States into four regions: the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West. (See Appendix III.) In 2002, data collected regarding the Nation's four regions reflected the following:
The Northeast recorded a rate of 3,942.3 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for violent crime was 188.9 per 100,000 in population. By offense within violent crime, law enforcement agencies in the region reported a 232 CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES 232 murder arrest rate of 3.2; a forcible rape arrest rate of 10.0; a robbery arrest rate of 44.7; and an aggravated assault arrest rate of 131.1. Property crime arrests in the region were calculated at a rate of 469.6 per 100,000. A breakdown of property crime showed that the burglary rate in the region was 83.3; larceny-theft, 345.8; and motor vehicle theft, 34.6. For the offense of arson, there were 5.9 arrests per 100,000 persons. (See Table 30.)
The law enforcement agencies in the Midwest reported an overall arrest rate of 5,041.1 per 100,000 in population. Violent crime arrests were recorded at a rate of 193.5 per 100,000 residents. By violent crime offense type, the rates were murder, 5.7; forcible rape, 11.2; robbery, 32.1, and aggravated assault, 144.5 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. For property crimes, the region had a rate of 583.6 arrests per 100,000 persons. Among property crimes, the burglary arrest rate was 81.5 per 100,000, the larceny-theft arrest rate was 441.4, the motor vehicle theft rate was 54.9, and the arson arrest rate was 5.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. (See Table 30.)
The Nation's most populated region, the South, had 5,217.7 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The region had a violent crime rate of 196.8 per 100,000 people.
Within the category of violent crime, the murder arrest rate was 5.7; forcible rape, 10.1; robbery, 35.5; and aggravated assault, 145.5 arrests per 100,000 individuals. Property crime arrests were registered at a rate of 593.2. Among property crimes, burglary arrests were recorded at a rate of 103.5 per 100,000; larceny-theft, 444.9; motor vehicle theft, 39.2; and the arson arrest rate was 5.6 per 100,000 in population. (See Table 30.)
Arrests were reported at a rate of 4,628.0 for every 100,000 persons in the West. The violent crime arrest rate in the region was 275.6. Within the violent crime category, the arrest rates per 100,000 inhabitants were murder, 4.6; forcible rape, 8.4; robbery, 40.0; and aggravated assault, 222.6 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The overall property crime arrest rate in the region was 596.3. Among the property crimes, the burglary arrest rate per 100,000 persons was 121.2, larceny-theft was 394.4, motor vehicle theft calculated at 74.9, and the arson arrest rate was 5.8 per 100,000 persons. (See Table 30.)
Population Groups: Trends and Rates
In 2002, cities, as a whole, recorded 5,170.2 arrests per 100,000 persons. Among population groups labeled city, cities with less than 10,000 inhabitants recorded the highest arrest rate per 100,000 persons at 6,365.5. Cities with 25,000 to 49,999 population recorded the lowest rate at 4,465.8 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for suburban counties was 3,841.5 per 100,000 in population and the arrest rate for rural counties was 4,025.6. (See Table 31.) In the Nation's cities collectively, juveniles accounted for 18.0 percent of all arrestees. Juveniles comprised 15.7 percent of persons arrested for violent crime and 30.7 percent of persons arrested for property crime. Of all persons arrested in cities in 2002, 48.0 percent were under age 25. As for violent crimes, 44.9 percent of arrestees were under 25, and for property crime, 58.3 percent of arrestees were from this age group. (Based on Table 46.) A comparison of total arrests in the Nation's cities collectively for 2001 and 2002 indicated a 0.2 percent increase. (See Table 44.) Suburban and rural counties each had an increase of 1.4 percent in arrests. In suburban counties, juveniles comprised 13.1 percent of arrestees, including 12.8 percent of violent crime arrestees and 26.3 percent of property crime arrestees. In rural counties, juveniles accounted for 10.2 percent of arrestees, 9.6 percent of the violent crime arrestees and 24.5 percent of the property crime arrestees. (See Tables 50, 52, 56 and 58.) 233 PERSONS ARRESTED
Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations
by Region, 2002
Drug abuse violations United States total Northeast Midwest South West Total1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Sale/Manufacturing:1 19.7 27.9 23.1 17.2 16.4 Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 8.8 19.1 6.0 7.8 6.2 Marijuana 5.4 6.5 7.4 4.8 4.4 Synthetic or manufactured drugs 1.4 1.0 1.3 2.6 0.8 Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 4.0 1.3 8.3 2.0 5.0
Possession:1 80.3 72.1 76.9 82.8 83.6 Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 21.3 23.4 11.5 22.0 24.4 Marijuana 39.9 41.6 49.4 48.6 27.1 Synthetic or manufactured drugs 3.0 1.8 2.7 4.4 2.5 Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 16.0 5.4 13.3 7.8 29.7
1 Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
United States, 2002
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 126,422 Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 14,158 Vandalism 276,697 Forcible rape 28,288 Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc. 164,446...