FBI Report: Nevada is the 2nd Worst State in the Nation for Violent Crimes

– Higher than the U.S. national average in 6 of 7 crime types reported (Larceny-Theft was rated at #32).

  Source: FBI 2015 annual UCR, published September 26, 2016


For the sixth consecutive year through 2015, Nevada’s crime rates are higher than the U.S. national averages in Violent Crime and six of the seven major types of crime reported by the FBI, including every violent crime category in the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR).

The crimes reported in the annual UCR are called “Part I Crimes” or “Index Crimes” and are reported in two categories: Violent Crime and Property Crime. Part 1 Violent Crimes include: murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Part I Property Crimes reported in the FBI’s UCR include: burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.


Note About Ratings

The ratings in the FBI UCR report only include crimes that were known/reported to law enforcement. The actual number of crimes in many of the categories is higher.

The FBI cautions against "drawing conclusions by making direct comparisons between cities..." See "UCR Note" near the bottom of the page.

Arson data is collected by the FBI but, due to states' reporting inconsistencies, they are not included in the annual reports. Per their 2014 report: "The FBI does not include any estimates for arsons because the degree of reporting arson offenses varies from agency to agency."
Arson statistics are not included here.


The following crimes are not reported in the FBIs Annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Many of them are directly affected by the ability to conduct forensic evidence analysis. Additional laboratory analysis capacity and capability provided by the new Forensic Science Center will help solve and prevent many of these types of crimes. In several areas—such as DUI, drug offenses, and others—it will also help save lives.

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
  • Drug abuse offenses: use, possession, purchase, sale, production, distribution transportation
  • Kidnapping/Abduction
  • Bribery
  • Counterfeiting/Forgery
  • Destruction/Damage/Vandalism
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Fraud
  • Human Trafficking Offenses
  • Prostitution and commercialized vice
  • Stolen Property Offenses (buying, receiving, possessing)
  • Vandalism
  • Weapon offenses (carrying, possessing, etc.)
  • Others


Violent Crime

While violent crime in the U.S. has had a steady decline every year since 2006, Nevada has remained in the top five worst states in the Nation (based on the ratio of crimes to population). Approximately 84 percent of the violent crimes reported in Nevada in 2014 were in Clark County.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 56 percent of violent crimes that occurred in 2014 were not reported to law enforcement (2015 estimates not yet available).


Robbery

While robbery rates have steadily declined in the U.S. every year since 2006, Nevada has maintained the terrible distinction of having the worst robbery rates in the entire Nation the past four consecutive years. Clark County reported approximately 92.7 percent of the 6,187 robberies in Nevada in 2015.


Rape

Per the FBI UCR, 1,547 rapes/sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement in Nevada in 2015. The Nevada DPS 2015 report states that 1,686 rapes/attempted rapes were "committed". Per the Department of Justice “Criminal Victimization, 2014” report, a staggering 66 percent were unreported nationwide.

Per NV DPS, approximately 305, or 18% of the 2015 Nevada cases, were cleared. In 2014, approximately 23.6% of the 319 rape cases were cleared. The national average for clearing rape cases in 2014 was 38.5%.


Murder

Per the FBI 2015 UCR, 178 murders or nonnegligent (willful) manslaughters were reported in Nevada in 2015.

Aggravated Assault

In 2015, approximately 11,115 aggravated assaults were reported in Nevada. In Clark County, 9,840 were reported (88.5% of the state total).

Vehicle Theft

10,818 motor vehicle thefts were reported in Nevada in 2015. 9,439 of the thefts were reported in Clark County. Approximately 682 of the thefts reported in the State, or 6%, were cleared. Motor vehicle thefts in Nevada accounted for $93,653,854 in stolen property in 2015.


Burglary

Per the Nevada DPS, 2015 annual report, 22,315 burglaries were reported to law enforcement. Of those, 1,806 (8.1%) were cleared. Nevada reported that $141,325,550 in property was stolen during reported burglaries in the state in 2014.



Violent Crime

Per the FBI, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent (willful) manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force.

Nevada law enforcement agencies received reports of 19,013 violent crimes in 2015. Approximately 73 percent of the state’s population resides in Clark County and, as stated above, 84 percent of all violent crimes in Nevada were reported in the County.

According to “Criminal Victimization, 2014, only 46 percent of violent crimes were reported to law enforcement (national average).

Reference(s): ”Criminal Victimization, 2014”, Table 6, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 2015. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv14.pdf Retrieved 11-11-15.

Robbery

Some people think that when someone has illegally entered (or “broken into”) their residence while away, they’ve been “robbed”. (Please see “burglary” below.) Actually, robbery is a crime directly against a person, and as defined by the FBI is: “The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.”

If a person is present in a residence or other building when a burglary occurs, and when other particular circumstances exist, crimes of burglary and robbery may both have been committed (among other possible crimes).

According to “Criminal Victimization, 2014”, only 61 percent of robberies were reported to law enforcement (national average).


Reference(s):

”Criminal Victimization, 2014”, Table 6, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 2015. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv14.pdf - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Rape/Sexual Assault

Per the FBI's 2015 UCR, 1,547 rapes or sexual assault were reported in Nevada in 2015, making our state the 7th worst in the nation in rape per 100,000 population. That's in the wrong direction as the state was at number 12 nationwide in 2014. Per the Department of Justice “Criminal Victimization, 2014” report, a staggering 66 percent were unreported nationwide. The Criminal Victimization report states: “Victims may not report the victimization for a variety of reasons, including fear of reprisal or getting the offender in trouble, believing that police would not or could not do anything to help, and believing the crime to be a personal issue…”

If the national average for unreported rape is applied, an estimated 3,003 additional unknown persons may have been a victim of rape or sexual assault in Nevada in 2015. That brings the total rapes that may have actuallly occured to approximately 4550.

While thousands of rape kits sit in evidence vaults awaiting forensic laboratory analysis, much of which has been funded and will take an estimated two additional years to catch up with the untested kits, it is evident that our forensic evidence analysis capacity and capacity needs immediate attention.

To make matters worse, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Forensic Laboratory estimated that they have the ability to test 100 rape kits each year, but that they expected to receive 400 5o 500 each years. On September 29, 2016, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported "nearly 800 sexual assault cases reported to Metro (LVMPD)" as of August 27, 2016.

If we multiply the number of actual rape or sexual assault cases (including those unreported) that may have yielded physical forensic evidence, and it is staggering to imagine the number of additional DNA analysis cases that would be backlogged, waiting for analysis that may never occur.

It is very obvious, in many ways, why Southern Nevada neeeds, and must have, a second full-service forensic laboratory capable of conducting DNA evidence analysis, among many other forensic disciplines. Let's not forget, fingerprint evidence and other forensic analysis techniques are instrumental in identifying rapists and rape suspects. DNA is a major investigative and crime solving technology, and in concert with other forensic science disciplines, more crimes area solved, crimes are prevented, and lives are saved.


Reference(s):

Crime numbers and comparisons. “2014 Crime in the United States”, FBI 2014 UCR Tables 4, 5, 8, 10 and others. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014 - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Crime Rates and Clearance rates in Nevada: ”2014 Crime in Nevada, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2014 Report, State of Nevada Department of Public Safety. Page 39. http://gsd.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/gsdnvgov/content/About/UCR/2014%20Crime%20In%20Nevada%20%282%29.pdf - Retrieved 11-11-15.

"2015 Crime in Nevada", State of NEvada Department of Public Safety. Retrieved 10-2-16 from: http://gsd.nv.gov/About/UCR/Crime-In-Nevada/

Criminal Victimization: ”Criminal Victimization, 2014”, Table 6, and page 7, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 2015. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv14.pdf - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Murder and Nonnegligent Homicide

Reference(s):

Crime numbers and comparisons. “2014 Crime in the United States”, FBI 2014 UCR Tables 4, 5, 8, 10 and others. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014 - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Crime Rates and Clearance rates in Nevada: ”2014 Crime in Nevada, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2014 Report, State of Nevada Department of Public Safety. Page 39. http://gsd.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/gsdnvgov/content/About/UCR/2014%20Crime%20In%20Nevada%20%282%29.pdf - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Aggravated Assault

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. The UCR Program further specifies that this type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

Attempted aggravated assault that involves the display of—or threat to use—a gun, knife, or other weapon is included in this crime category because serious personal injury would likely result if the assault were completed.


Reference(s):

Crime numbers and comparisons. “2014 Crime in the United States”, FBI 2014 UCR Tables 4, 5, 8, 10 and others. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014. Retrieved 11-11-15.

Crime Rates and Clearance rates in Nevada: ”2014 Crime in Nevada, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2014 Report, State of Nevada Department of Public Safety. Page 39. http://gsd.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/gsdnvgov/content/About/UCR/2014%20Crime%20In%20Nevada%20%282%29.pdf. Retrieved 11-11-15.

Motor Vehicle Theft

10,818 motor vehicle thefts were reported in Nevada in 2015. 9,439 of the thefts were reported in Clark County. Approximately 682 of the thefts reported in the State, or 6%, were cleared. Motor vehicle thefts in Nevada accounted for $93,653,854 in stolen property in 2015.


Reference(s):

Crime numbers and comparisons. “2014 Crime in the United States”, FBI 2014 UCR Tables 4, 5, 8, 10 and others. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014 - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Crime Rates and Clearance rates in Nevada: ”2014 Crime in Nevada, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2014 Report, State of Nevada Department of Public Safety. Page 39. http://gsd.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/gsdnvgov/content/About/UCR/2014%20Crime%20In%20Nevada%20%282%29.pdf - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Burglary

There is a common misunderstanding between a "burglary" and a "robbery". Although any crime may be traumatic to the victim(s), a "burglary" is considered a property crime and a "robbery" is a crime against a person. The Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 205.060 defines burglary as follows: Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, a person who, by day or night, enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, vehicle, vehicle trailer, semitrailer or house trailer, airplane, glider, boat or railroad car, with the intent to commit grand or petit larceny, assault or battery on any person or any felony, or to obtain money or property by false pretenses, is guilty of burglary."

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines burglary as the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft. To classify an offense as a burglary, the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred. The UCR Program has three sub-classifications for burglary: forcible entry, unlawful entry where no force is used, and attempted forcible entry. The UCR definition of “structure” includes an apartment, barn, house trailer or houseboat when used as a permanent dwelling, office, railroad car (but not automobile), stable, and vessel (i.e., ship).


Reference(s):

Crime numbers and comparisons. “2014 Crime in the United States”, FBI 2014 UCR Tables 4, 5, 8, 10 and others. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014 - Retrieved 11-11-15.

Crime Rates and Clearance rates in Nevada: ”2014 Crime in Nevada, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2014 Report, State of Nevada Department of Public Safety. Page 39. http://gsd.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/gsdnvgov/content/About/UCR/2014%20Crime%20In%20Nevada%20%282%29.pdf - Retrieved 11-11-15

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/burglary - Retrieved 10-2-15



_____________________________

UCR Note: The FBI published the following to encourage caution when reviewing the stats provided by the annual reports:

“Caution against ranking—Figures used in this Report were submitted voluntarily by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Individuals using these tabulations are cautioned against drawing conclusions by making direct comparisons between cities. Comparisons lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. It is important to remember that crime is a social problem and, therefore, a concern of the entire community. In addition, the efforts of law enforcement are limited to factors within its control. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual agencies. Further information on this topic can be obtained in Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics: Their Proper Use.

Source: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr-statistics-their-proper-use



Critical Role of Forensic Labs

Forensic laboratories play highly critical roles in the fight against driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, and the injuries and deaths those crimes cause.

Lab Shortage Must Be Corrected

Southern Nevada’s lack of sufficient forensic laboratory capacity and capability is a problem that must be corrected immediately. Our laboratory shortages and related backlogs have a direct impact on, and are directly responsible for, injuries prevented and for lives saved or lives lost on our roadways. There is no factual, reasonable argument to the contrary.

The evidence analysis shortage and backlog problems can be corrected, and significant gains will be realized, when a new Forensic Science Center/Forensic Laboratory is constructed, equipped, and staffed in Southern Nevada. A new facility in Henderson, Nevada, will increase the safety of residents and visitors in Clark County and southern Nevada.

Local Forensic Lab Capacity and Capability

Henderson’s small forensic laboratory has a much shorter turn-around time for blood alcohol and blood drug analysis than the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). The LVMPD lab has significant evidence analysis backlogs in multiple areas of the lab, including DNA analysis which Henderson does not currently do (but will have that opportunity in a new lab).

Understandably, the smaller lab in Henderson, has a much smaller case load than LVMPD's lab. The Henderson lab conducts all of the blood alcohol and blood drug analysis (among other types of evidence analysis) for Boulder City, Nevada.

In spite of the small size, Henderson lab’s methodology for the analysis of alcohol and other drugs in alcohol is advanced beyond that of many other forensic laboratories. As of February 2016, the Henderson forensic laboratory has the capability of confirming the presence and quantity of over seventy-two different drugs/substances in blood. As of February 2016, LVMPD’s lab was able to analyze approximately thirteen drugs in blood.

Brief example of Henderson Forensic Lab’s Unique Ability to Save Lives

An important actual life and death example of the critical need to develop and maintain additional forensic evidence analysis capability (in this case, the number and types of drugs in blood) is demonstrated in a 2015 case in Henderson. A driver who was involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash was not believed to exhibit any signs of impairment at the scene and was not arrested. Blood was drawn from the driver, who apparently volunteered to do so possibly due to the driver’s knowledge that no alcohol had been consumed.

DUI Crashes in Nevada

Per the Center for Traffic Safety Research, Univ. of Nevada School of Medicine, in 2012:

  • Nevada had a total of 258 motor vehicle fatalities, 82 (32%) of them involved alcohol-impaired-driving.
  • An average of 25 patients per month were admitted to a Nevada trauma centers for their injuries following involvement with impaired driving crashes.
  • 1 in 3 trauma patients who died in a hospital were involved in alcohol/drug related crashes. Patients who were involved in an impaired driving crash were significantly associated with in-hospital death outcome.
  • The average accrued hospital charges with patients involved in alcohol or drug impaired driving crashes was $70,788 versus $47,452 per motor vehicle crash patient when alcohol/drugs were not suspected.
  • Based on above averages, the approximate hospital charges for patients involved in alcohol or drug impaired driving crashes in Nevada was $1,769,700 per month, or $21,236,400 for the year.

DUI Deaths in the U.S.

The U.S. National Safety Council (NSC) reported that each year, in 2014 and 2013, over 35,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. In 2013, alcohol was the primary cause of 30.8%, or 10,894 of the motor vehicle deaths during the year.

The NSC provided a list showing the “Odds of Dying”, based on national statistics. Motor vehicle crashes were fifth which includes, in order:

      1. Heart Disease and Cancer – 1:7
      2. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease – 1:28
      3. Intentional Self-harm – 1:100
      4. Unintentional Poisoning By and Exposure to Noxious Substances – 1:109
      5. Motor Vehicle Crash – 1:112
      6. Falls – 1:144
      7. Based on this list, statistically, the Odds of Dying in a vehicle crash related to alcohol would be number 7, just behind death related to a fall.

Per the NSC, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2012, about one-third of all fatal crashes involved alcohol, and more than 10,000 people lost their lives.” In addition, NSC reported that during that same year (2012), “Almost 4,000 drivers were killed in crashes while under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. Due to under-reporting, this number actually may be higher.”

Sadly, those numbers indicate that in 2012, over 14,000 of the 36,415 people who died in vehicle crashes in the U.S., lost their lives directly due to alcohol and other drugs.


References:

National Safety Council, “Safety on the Road” and “What Are the Odds of Dying From…”, and “Safety at home: motor vehicle crash, Don’t Drive While Impaired”, retrieved 11-22-15

  • http://www.nsc.org/learn/pages/nsc-on-the-road.aspx
  • http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/injury-facts-chart.aspx
  • http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/injury-facts-odds-of-dying.aspx
  • http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-motor-vehicle-crash.aspx
  • National Safety Council, Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs, retrieved 11-22-15 http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/CAODMedicalMarijuanaPosition.pdf

”DUI Crashes in Nevada: Injury, Death, and Hospital Cost”, Nevada Traffic Research and Education Newsletter, TREND, Volume 5 No. 1, Center for Traffic Safety Research, Univ. of Nevada School of Medicine, October 19, 2015. Retrieved 11-22-15. http://medicine.nevada.edu/Documents/unsom/ctsr/TREND%205-1%20DK%20DUI%20Crashes%20in%20Nevada1.pdf


Limited data on drug abuse offenses is reported to the FBI by local law enforcement. Many of these crimes require forensic laboratory analysis for confirmation of the substance and for prosecution purposes. Additional capacity to analyze these drugs on a more timely basis will help identify criminals, get drugs off the street, and decrease the viability of the drug trades.

The analysis provided by a new Forensic Science Center/Forensic Laboratory will help solve and prevent many types of drug abuse crimes including: use, possession, purchase, sale, production, distribution, and transportation.


The following crimes are not reported with the FBIs Annual UCR for Part 1 crime. Limited data on these offenses is reported to the FBI, or to other agencies, by law enforcement. In many cases, the numbers and reporting are not consistent and/or organized by state.

Many of these crime are solved and prevented primarily through forensic evidence analysis. Additional capacity and capability provided by the new Forensic Science Center will help solve and prevent many of these types of crimes. Due to the nature of drug offenses, additional investigative capacity for evidence analysis by forensic laboratories will help save lives.

  • Kidnapping/Abduction
  • Bribery
  • Counterfeiting/Forgery
  • Destruction/Damage/Vandalism
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Fraud
  • Human Trafficking Offenses
  • Prostitution and commercialized vice
  • Stolen Property Offenses (buying, receiving, possessing)
  • Vandalism
  • Weapon offenses (carrying, possessing, etc.)
  • Others