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RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2016 is now available on the Virginia State Police website, under “Forms & Publications.” The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses by the reporting agency as well as arrests by jurisdiction.

The following 2016 crime figures within Virginia are included in the report:

  • Virginia experienced more than a 10 percent increase in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) compared to 2015 (10.8%). The FBI’s nationwide figures for 2016 are not yet available.
  • The number of reported homicides increased from 382 to 480 or an increase of 25.7 percent. Victims and Offenders tended to be relatively young; 47.5 percent of homicide victims and 63.5 percent of offenders were less than 30 years of age. Victims and offenders were most likely to be male (78.3% and 91.0% respectively).
  • Property crime (burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) overall remain mostly unchanged from the previous year (-.40%). The FBI’s nationwide figures for 2016 are not yet available.
  • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 18.2 percent compared to the previous year.  Of the 9,719 motor vehicles stolen, 6,049 or 62.2 percent were recovered. Of all motor vehicles stolen, automobiles and trucks had the highest frequency of being recovered (67.8%, 68.0%). Recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) were least likely to be recovered (50.8%, 40.6%). Four out of 10 (41.5%) of all motor vehicles were reported stolen from the residence/home. The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $89,990,458, while the reported value recovered was $53,664,462.
  • Drug and narcotic arrests increased overall compared to the previous reporting period (8.7%). Marijuana was associated with more drug arrests than any other drug. Marijuana arrests increased 10.6 percent compared to the previous reporting period while arrests for heroin, “crack” cocaine and powder cocaine showed an even greater percent increase compared to the previous reporting period (17.1%, 11.1%,19.4%, respectively).
  • Fraud offenses increased by less than one percent compared to 2015 (.85%).
  • Of the 862 arsons and attempted arsons that were reported, half (50.3%) reported the location as “residence/home.”  Neither time of day or day of the week appear to be associated with this offense.
  • Robbery increased 7.6 percent. Of the 4,796 robberies and attempted robberies, one-third (31.8%) took place between 8 pm. and midnight. Days of the week showed little variability in terms of the number of robberies that took place.
  • Of the weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 75.6 percent of homicides and 57.6 percent of robberies. Firearms were used to a lesser extent in the offenses of aggravated assault (27.8%) and forcible rape (2.2%). 
  • There were 137 hate crimes reported in 2016 representing an 11.6 percent decrease compared to 2015. Over half (57.6%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation and religion were next highest (19.7%, 16.8%, respectively). The remaining 5.8 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. The offense of assault was associated with half (50.4%) of all reported bias-motivated crimes, while destruction/damage/ vandalism of property was associated with 31.4 percent of all reported bias-motivated crimes.        

The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.

For Group A offenses, between 2015 and 2016, adult arrests increased 3.3 percent. Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses also increased by a similar amount (3.1%). For Group B arrests, there was a decrease of 6.3 percent for adults while juvenile Group B arrests decreased 11.8 percent. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 282,422 arrests in 2015 compared to 276,144 arrests in 2016, representing an overall decrease of 2.2 percent arrests in Virginia.

Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and are sent to the FBI who modifies and incorporates them in their annual report, Crime in the United States.

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