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.
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.
- 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, 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:
Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations
Percent Distribution by Region, 2012
|Drug abuse violations||
|Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives||6.1||11.5||3.7||5.7||4.4|
|Synthetic or manufactured drugs||1.9||1.5||1.4||3.2||0.6|
|Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs||4.0||2.2||4.8||3.5||5.3|
|Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives||16.5||17.2||9.8||13.6||24.0|
|Synthetic or manufactured drugs||4.5||3.1||5.0||6.1||2.9|
|Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs||18.7||11.5||14.5||11.8||35.5|
1 Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
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.