FBI stats show violent crime is down in Western Pa., nationally in 2017 |

FBI stats show violent crime is down in Western Pa., nationally in 2017

Stephanie Strasburg | Trib Total Media
Police and detectives walk the crime scene where four people were shot between Brownsville Road and Amanda Avenue in Knoxville on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.

Violent crime in communities in Western Pennsylvania dropped in 2017, mirroring a trend a national trend, according to new statistics from the FBI.

Reports of violent crime were down in Pittsburgh, Tarentum and Greensburg, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2017, which was released Monday.

Violent crime across the United States fell slightly in 2017 after two years of increases, the report showed.

The yearly report released Monday is culled from numbers submitted by more than 18,000 federal, state, municipal and tribal law enforcement agencies across the country.

The report categorizes violent crime as crime as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and the FBI considers burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson property crimes. Agencies must only report the most serious offense to the FBI when an incident involves multiple violent crimes. For example, if an individual is charged with rape and aggravated assault, only rape will show up in the URC statistics.

Below are statistics for Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Tarentum, Pennsylvania and the United States.

Pittsburgh: The total reports of violent crime in Pittsburgh dropped from 2,366 in 2016 to 2,008 in 2017 – a drop of about 15 percent.

• Homicides fell by two, from 57 to 55

• The number of reported rapes dropped by about 10 percent from 100 to 90 citywide

• Robberies decreased by just under 20 percent, from 1,000 in 2016 to 802 in 2017

• Aggravated assaults dropped as well, from a reported 1,209 in 2016 to 1,061 in 2017 – a drop of about 12.25 percent.

Greensburg: Reports of violent crime fell by four reported incidents, from 47 in 2016 to 43 in 2017

• There were no homicides either year

• There were eight reported rapes in 2016; that fell by half to four in 2017.

• Robberies rose by three reports, from 10 in 2016 to 13 in 2017

• Aggravated assault fell by three reports from 29 in 2016 to 26 in 2017

Tarentum: Reports of violent crime fell by two-thirds, from 30 incidents in 2016 to just 10 in 2017

• There were no homicides either year

• There were no reported rapes in Tarentum in 2016; there was one reported in 2017

• Robberies fell by half, from six reported in 2016 to three in 2017

• The number of reported aggravated assaults tumbled by 75 percent, from 24 in 2016 to just six in 2017


• Pennsylvania’s murder rate is slightly higher than the national average. There were 739 murders in Pennsylvania in 2017, which is a rate of about 5.8 per 100,000 people, compared to 5.3 murders per 100,000 people in 2017 nationally. That’s a total increase of 9.6 percent over the 674 murders statewide in 2016.

• The number of reported rapes across the state fell by just under 6 percent, from 4,459 in 2016 to 4,201 in 2017. That’s a rate of 34.9 compared to 32.8.

• Of 735 murders where the weapon could be determined, 567 were committed with a firearm. There were 452 murders committed with handguns, 11 with rifles, eight with shotguns, and in 96 cases, it was an unknown firearm. There were 63 murders committed with knives, and 73 involved some other type of weapon. Fists, hands and feet were the weapon in 32 killings.

• Robberies also decreased from a reported 12,314 in 2016 to 11,793 in 2017 – about 4.2 percent fewer.

Aggravated assault increased slightly in Pennsylvania, rising from a rate of 179.4 per 100,000 people (22,942 total incidents) to 182.6 (23,387 total) in 2017.


• Violent crime as a whole dropped between 2016 and 2017, though by 0.2 percent. The violent crime rate per 100,000 people fell by 0.9 percent to 382.9 in 2017.

• Murders also dropped from 17,413 reported in 2016 to 17,284 in 2017 – a total drop of less than 1 percent. In terms of rate, that’s a drop in rate of about 1.4 percent to 5.3 murders per 100,000 people living in the country. It’s still 20 percent higher than the number of murders five years ago.

• Murder accounted about 1.4 percent of all violent crime, and firearms were used in 72.6 percent of homicides.

• The number of reported rapes rose across the country by about 2.5 percent, from 132,414 to 135,755. That’s a rate of about 40.9 in 2016, up to a rate of 41.7 in 2017. should we include that the FBI used a broader definition of rape this year?

• The number of robberies across the country fell from a total of 332,797 (a rate of about 102.9 per 100,000 people) in 2016 to a total of 319,356 (rate of 98.0 per 100,000) in 2017. In terms of volume, that’s a 4 percent decrease between 2016 and 2017. Looking back five years, it’s 7.5 percent decrease.

• The rate of aggravated assaults rose about 0.3 percent between 2016 and 2017 from a rate of 248.3 per 100,000 people to 248.9 per 100,000 people. That translates to a 1 percent increase in the total number of aggravated assaults (802,982 in 2016 and 810,825 in 2017).

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