TRACKING CRIME: NC sees higher crime rate as nation reports a decline

Updated: Dec. 12, 2019 at 4:25 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -The FBI released the latest data they have on crime across the nation this week.

The 2018 NIBRS data came out Monday. The information is voluntarily submitted by local law enforcement to the FBI through the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and includes information about victims, suspects and how frequently police are called about different crimes.

More than 7,200 law enforcement agencies tasked with keeping more than 117.1 million people safe submitted their data to the UCR Program. Specifically they keep track of violent crimes including homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assault reports and also property crimes, including arson, burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft.

While the nation saw an overall decline in the violent crime rate, North Carolina saw the violent crime rate increase from 2017 to 2018.

Rate of all violent crimes offenses by population
Rate of all violent crimes offenses by population(FBI)


The state did see a decline in homicide and robbery rates. While the rate of rape offenses increased in North Carolina, the state’s rape rate is still much lower than the national average.

The most striking difference was in the rate of aggravated assault offenses reported in the state. In 2017, North Carolina and the nation had the same rate of aggravated assault offenses by population; come 2018, the national rate declined and the rate in North Carolina sharply increased.

Rate of aggravated assault offenses by population
Rate of aggravated assault offenses by population(FBI)


The state saw a decline in overall property crimes in 2018, but still maintains a higher rate than the national average.

Motor vehicle theft increased in the Tar Heel state over the previous year’s numbers, but arson, burglary and larceny rates dropped.

Rate of all property crimes offenses by population
Rate of all property crimes offenses by population(FBI)


In 2018, the FBI estimated crime statistics for North Carolina are based on data received from 422 of 565 law enforcement agencies in the state. The FBI’s website allows people to look at the data of each agency that participated and explore how many crimes were reported and how many were cleared.

In the Cape Fear region, many agencies saw lower crime rates from 2017 to 2018. The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office saw decreases in violent crimes and property crimes. Carolina Beach’s property crime rate has steadily declined since 2012.

Wilmington police saw less violent crimes from 2017-2018, and police responded to half as many homicides as the year prior. Wilmington PD also reported a decrease in the property crime rate in 2018.

Look up your local police department or sheriff’s office here. Because the data found on the FBI’s website represents reported crime, the agency warns it is not an exhaustive report of all crime that occurs.

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