Section IV - Persons Arrested

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SECTION IV

PERSONS ARRESTED 267

Persons Arrested

Arrests are often viewed, correctly or not, as a key measure of law enforcement's effectiveness in fighting crime. However, law enforcement practices with regard to arrests can differ significantly between two locales and even within a specific agency over time and with changes in administration. The pursuit of arrests for certain offenses such as disorderly conduct, vagrancy, and other violations sometimes thought of as 'nuisance' crimes can vary widely from agency to agency. On the other hand, the arrest standard for crimes such as murder, forcible rape, and robbery is more likely to be consistent among law enforcement in all locales.

In the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, one arrest is counted for each separate instance in which an individual is arrested, cited, or summoned for criminal acts in Part I and Part II crimes. (See Appendix II for additional information concerning Part I and Part II crimes.) One person may be arrested multiple times during the year; as a result, the arrest figures in this section should not be viewed as a total number of individuals arrested. Rather, this section provides the number of arrest occurrences that were reported by law enforcement.

National Volume, Trends, and Rates

In 2003, law enforcement in the United States made an estimated 13.6 million arrests for crime committed (excluding traffic offenses.) Law enforcement made 1.6 million arrests for property crimes that occurred in 2003, which represented 11.8 percent of the total arrests. An estimated 597,026 arrests for violent crimes made up 4.4 percent of the total arrests. Drug abuse violations accounted for nearly 1.7 million arrests, the most arrests for any offense type. (Based on Table 29.) The number of arrests remained virtually unchanged (+0.2 percent) in 2003 when compared to arrest figures from the previous year. Arrests for violent crime decreased 2.3 percent and those for property crime increased 0.7 percent from 2002 data. Drug abuse violation arrests rose 5.2 percent in the 2-year period. (See Table 36.) The 5-year trend (comparing 2003 data with those from 1999) indicated a 3.4-percent drop in the number of arrests. (See Table 34.) A comparison of the 2003 arrest data to those of 1994 (the 10-year trend) showed a 2.8-percent decline in arrests. (See Table 32.) The Nation as a whole had a total arrest rate of 4,695.1 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. There were 558.4 arrests for property crimes per 100,000 persons and 205.3 arrests for violent crimes per 100,000 persons. Drug abuse and alcohol-related arrests were measured at a rate of 1,470.1 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. (Based on Table 30.)

By Age, Sex, and Race

In 2003, adults (those over the age of 18) made up 83.7 percent of total arrestees. (See Table 38.) Persons under the age of 25 made up 46.3 percent of all arrestees, and nearly a third of arrestees (30.9 percent) were under 21 years of age. (See Table 41.) A comparison of 2003 and 2002 data indicated that the number of arrests of juveniles for all offenses decreased 0.4 percent. The number of arrests of juveniles for violent crimes in 2003 remained virtually unchanged (+1.0 percent) from the 2002 number, but the number of arrests of juveniles for drug abuse violations rose 3.7 percent. (See Table 36.) By gender, 76.8 percent of arrest-ees in the United States in 2003 were male. Males made up 82.2 percent of violent crime and 69.2 percent of property crime arrestees. (See Table 42.) A comparison of 2003 arrest data to the 2002 figures revealed that the number of arrests of females increased 1.9 percent, and the number of arrests of males decreased 0.4 percent. (See Table 37.) The 5-year trend (comparing 2003 data to those of 1999) showed a 2.8-percent rise in the number of arrests of females and a 5.2-percent drop in the number of arrests of males. (See Table 35.) In 2003, the number of arrests of females was 12.3 percent higher, but the number of arrests of males was 6.7 percent fewer than in 1994 (the 10-year trend). (See Table 33.) By race, 70.6 percent of arrestees in 2003 were white, 27.0 percent were black, and the remaining 2.5 percent were of other races (two categories defined by UCR: American Indian or Alaskan Native and Asian or Pacific Islander). Whites accounted for 60.5 percent of the individuals arrested for violent crimes. Blacks made up 37.2 percent of violent crime arrestees, and the remainder of the arrestees were of other races. With regard to property crime arrestees, 68.2 percent were white, 29.1 percent were black, and the remainder of the arrestees were of other races.

268 CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES The offense with the greatest number of white arrestees was driving under the influence (877,810). The offense with the highest number of black arrestees was drug abuse violations (381,006). (See Table 43.)

Regional Arrest Rates

The United States is partitioned into four regions by the UCR Program: the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West. (See Appendix III for more information concerning the UCR regions and divisions of the country.) In 2003, data collected within the four regions of the Nation indicated the following:

The Northeast

In the Northeast, law enforcement agencies had an overall arrest rate of 3,768.0 per 100,000 in population. The arrest rate for violent crime was 166.5 arrests per 100,000 in population. Property crime arrests in the region were calculated at a rate of 438.4 arrests per 100,000 individuals. (See Table 30.)

The Midwest

Law enforcement had a rate of 4,808.6 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants in the Midwest. The arrest rate for violent crime was 165.8 arrests per 100,000 in population. For property crimes, the region had a rate of 562.1 arrests per 100,000 persons. (See Table 30.)

The South

The South, the U.S. region with the most population, had a rate of 5,255.9 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. This region had a violent crime rate of 190.4 arrests per 100,000 people, and property crime arrests were recorded at a rate of 604.0 arrests per 100,000 individuals. (See Table 30.)

The West

In the West, arrests were recorded at a rate of 4,584.0 arrests for every 100,000 persons. The violent crime rate in this region was 276.4 arrests per 100,000 in population. The property crime arrest rate in the West was 582.2 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. (See Table 30.)

Population Groups: Trends and Rates

The national UCR Program aggregates crime data into population groups-a list of which is furnished in Appendix III. Law enforcement in cities as a group, in 2003, reported 5,109.3 arrests per 100,000 persons. Among the city population groups, the Nation's smallest cities, those with less than 10,000 inhabitants, recorded the highest arrest rate per 100,000 persons at 6,273.3. Law enforcement in cities with 25,000 to 49,999 in population recorded the lowest rate at 4,423.1 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for metropolitan counties was 3,731.0 per 100,000 in population, and the arrest rate for non-metropolitan counties was 3,961.2 per 100,000 persons. (See Table 31.) Overall, law enforcement in the Nation's cities reported that adults accounted for 82.2 percent of all arrestees, and juveniles comprised 17.8 percent of persons arrested. Juveniles accounted for 16.3 percent of arrestees for violent crimes and 29.7 percent of arrestees for property crimes. (See Table 46.) Of all persons arrested in cities during 2003, nearly half (47.9 percent) were under the age of 25. (See Table 47.) A comparison of the number of 2003 arrests for all offenses reported to law enforcement in U.S. cities to the 2002 figure showed virtually no change (+0.2 percent) in the number of arrests. Property crime arrests increased 0.7 percent; however, violent crime arrests declined 2.5 percent. In the combined city population groups, arrests for drug abuse violations increased 5.1 percent. Total arrests of juveniles in U.S. cities decreased 0.3 percent in 2003 from the 2002 number. (See Table 44.) Law enforcement in metropolitan counties reported a 1.0-percent increase in total arrests, and those in nonmetropolitan

Table 4.1

Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

by Region, 2003

Drug abuse violations United States total Northeast Midwest South West

Total

1

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Sale/Manufacturing: 19.4 25.7 19.2 20.1 15.9

Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 8.8 17.1 4.8 9.8 5.8

Marijuana 5.5 6.4 7.7 5.3 4.2

Synthetic or manufactured drugs 1.5 1.0 1.4 2.8 0.7

Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 3.6 1.2 5.2 2.3 5.2

Possession: 80.6 74.3 80.8 79.9 84.1

Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 21.5 24.3 11.4 22.3 23.8

Marijuana 39.5 42.3 51.7 46.3 26.2

Synthetic or manufactured drugs 3.1 1.8 3.1 4.3 2.6

Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 16.6 5.7 14.7 6.9 31.5

1 Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.

PERSONS ARRESTED 269 counties had a decrease of 2.1 percent in arrests. A comparison of 2003 and 2002 arrest data indicates that in metropolitan counties, arrests of juveniles increased 1.1 percent, and in non-metropolitan counties, arrests of juveniles dropped 5.5 percent. (See Tables 50 and 56.) By race, 68.2 percent of arrestees in the Nation's cities, collectively, were white, 29.3 percent were black, and 2.5 percent were of other races. (See Table 49.) In the Nation's metropolitan counties, law enforcement reported that 75.1 percent of arrestees were white, 23.6 percent were black, and the remainder of arrestees were of other races; in nonmetropolitan counties, 82.8 percent of arrestees were white, 12.5 percent of arrestees were black, and the remainder of arrest-ees were of other races. (See Tables 55 and 61.)

Table 29

Estimated Number of Arrests

United States, 2003

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