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Uniform Crime Report
Crime in the United States, 2012

Arrests
Definition



The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program counts one arrest for each separate
instance in which a person is arrested, cited, or summoned for an offense. The UCR
Program collects arrest data on 28 offenses, as described in Offense Definitions. (Please
note that, beginning in 2010, the UCR Program no longer collected data on runaways.)
Because a person may be arrested multiple times during a year, the UCR arrest figures
do not reflect the number of individuals who have been arrested; rather, the arrest data
show the number of times that persons are arrested, as reported by law enforcement
agencies to the UCR Program.
Data collection-juveniles
The UCR Program considers a juvenile to be an individual under 18 years of age
regardless of state definition. The program does not collect data regarding police contact
with a juvenile who has not committed an offense, nor does it collect data on situations
in which police take a juvenile into custody for his or her protection, e.g., neglect cases.

Overview

• Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 12,196,959 arrests in 2012. Of
these arrests, 521,196 were for violent crimes, and 1,646,212 were for property
crimes. (Note: the UCR Program does not collect data on citations for traffic
violations.)
• The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations (estimated at
1,552,432 arrests), driving under the influence (estimated at 1,282,957), and
larceny-theft (estimated at 1,282,352). (See Table 29.)
• The estimated arrest rate for the United States in 2012 was 3,888.2 arrests per
100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for violent crime (including murder and
nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) was
166.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime (burglary,
Crime in the United States, 2012



U.S. Department of Justice—Federal Bureau of Investigation
Released Fall 2013

larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) was 528.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
(See Table 30.)
• Two-year arrest trends show violent crime arrests declined 1.8 percent in 2012
when compared with 2011 arrests, but property crime arrests increased 0.3
percent when compared with the 2011 arrests.
• Arrests of juveniles for all offenses decreased 10.4 percent in 2012 when
compared with the 2011 number; arrests of adults declined 0.9 percent. (See
Table 36.)
• Nearly 74 percent (73.8) of the persons arrested in the nation during 2012 were
males. They accounted for 80.1 percent of persons arrested for violent crime and
62.6 percent of persons arrested for property crime. (See Table 42.)

In 2012, 69.3 percent of all persons arrested were white, 28.1 percent were black,
and the remaining 2.6 percent were of other races. (See Table 43.)
Expanded arrest data
Expanded data about arrests include information about the age, gender, and race of the
arrestees. These data are available in the following tables:
Age: Tables 32, 34, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 46, 47, 50, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 62, 64, and 65
Gender: Tables 33, 35, 37, 39, 40, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 63, and 66
Race: Tables 43, 49, 55, 61, and 67
What you won’t find on this page
• Clearance data for violent crimes and property crimes.
• The number of persons who were convicted, prosecuted, and/or imprisoned. The
UCR Program does not collect this information.
Crime in the United States, 2012



U.S. Department of Justice—Federal Bureau of Investigation
Released Fall 2013
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