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A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use

violent force upon the victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective,
such as murder, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end, (including criminal
ends) such as robbery. Violent crimes include crimes committed with weapons. With the
exception of rape (which accounts for 6% of all reported violent crimes), males are the primary
victims of all forms of violent crime.[1] A violent crime may end with injury or death, both on the
part of victim and offender.

The Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC)[6] document published by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics does not have a single category for violent crime. Rather, violent crime is
classified under a number of different categories that often indicate a range of both violent and
non-violent behaviour. The categories include:[7]

Homicide and related offences, covering murder (including conspiracies and attempts),
manslaughter and driving causing death.

Acts intended to cause injury, such as Assault, as well as other acts.

Sexual assault and related offences including non-assaultive sexual offences, such as
those against a child.

Abduction and related offences such as kidnapping, deprivation of liberty or false


Robbery, extortion and related offences such as blackmail.


Canada classifies homicides, attempted murder, all assaults, all sexual offences,
abduction and robbery as violent crime.[8]

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand's crime statistics[9][10] has a category for violence that includes homicides,
kidnapping, abduction, robbery, assaults, intimidation, threats, and group assembly, while
all sexual offences are shown in a separate category from violence.

Europe, minor violence counts[edit]

Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece and
Sweden count minor violence like slapping another person as assault.[2] An example is the
case of Ilias Kasidiaris in 2012. Kasidaris, then spokesperson for Greece's far-right
Golden Dawn party, slapped a left-wing female opponent in the face during a live
televised debate. He was subsequently wanted by Greek prosecutors for assault and faced
an arrest warrant.[11]

Europe, minor violence is not counted[edit]

France does not count minor violence like slapping somebody as assault.[2]

Includes all violence against the person, sexual offences, and robbery as violent crime.[12]
Rates of violent crime in the UK are recorded by the British Crime Survey. For the
2010/2011 report on crime in England and Wales,[13] the statistics show that violent crime
continues a general downward trend observed over the last few decades as shown in the
graph. "The 2010/11 BCS showed overall violence was down 47 per cent on the level
seen at its peak in 1995; representing nearly two million fewer violent offences per year."
In 2010/11, 31 people per 1000 interviewed reported being a victim of violent crime in
the 12 preceding months.
Regarding murder, "increasing levels of homicide (at around 2% to 3% per year) [have
been observed] from the 1960s through to the end of the twentieth century". Recently the
murder rate has declined, "a fall of 19 per cent in homicides since 2001/02", as measured
by The Homicide Index.

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

Violent crime in the United States[14]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report (FBI UCR) counts four
categories of crime as violent crimes: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible
rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.[15] It should be noted that there are two methods of
recording crime in the US. These do not look at exactly the same crimes. The UCR
measures crimes reported to police, and classes violent crime as above. The National
Crime Victimization Survey[16] (NCVS) measures crimes reported by households
surveyed by the United States Census Bureau, and looks at assault, rape, and robbery.
The UCR figures are those quoted for, "violent crime" rates.
According to figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the rate of violent crime
victimization in the United States declined by more than two thirds between the years
1994 and 2009.[17] In 2009, there were 16.9 victimizations per 1000 persons aged 12 and
over. 7.9% of sentenced prisoners in federal prisons on September 30, 2009 were
convicted of violent crimes.[18] 52.4% of sentenced prisoners in state prisons at the end of
2008 were in for violent crimes.[18] 21.6% of convicted inmates in jails in 2002 (latest
available data by type of offense) were in for violent crimes.[19]
By 2012 the reported violent crime rate in the U.S. had dropped to 386.9 cases per
100,000 of the population, compared to 729.6 in 1990 [20]

A crime of violence occurs when an offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon a victim.
Classifying an offense as a violent crime does not require that the offender used a weapon. The
United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has identified five
categories of violent crime: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and
aggravated assault.

Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter

While the precise definition of murder varies among jurisdictions, states generally define murder as
the illegal killing of another human being with malice aforethought. In order to be found guilty of
murder, a defendant must have committed the act with the intent to kill. Thus, if a defendant
unintentionally or accidentally caused the death of another, the death is not classified as murder,
but may qualify as involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide. Non-negligent, or voluntary
manslaughter is defined as murder without premeditation. If the killer intended to kill because the
victim provoked him, the killer may be guilty of non-negligent manslaughter. Additionally, if the killer
suffered from diminished capacity at the time of the death, the charge may be mitigated from
murder to non-negligent manslaughter.

Forcible Rape
The US Department of Justice defines forcible rape as forced sexual intercourse involving vaginal,
oral or anal penetration by an offender through psychological coercion or physical force. This
definition encompases instances where the offender cause the penetration with a foreign object,
as well as attempted rapes and verbal threats of rape. Although this definition is gender neutral,
older definitions were gender specific and sexual attacks on males were often classified as
aggravated assault. Statutory rape and other sex offenses are not generally classified as violent

Robbery is the seizing of property by violence or intimidation. Thus, the robber must use force or
threats of force to obtain the property of another. Robbery is distinguished from theft and larceny
by the requirement that the taking of property be by means of violence or intimidation. The degree
of violence or intimidation need not be extreme to classify the crime as robbery. Additionally, the
value of the property taken may be nominal.

Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault is an unlawful attack by a person against another for the purpose of inflicting
serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury is generally defined as a wound that breaks the skin.
Aggravated assault is typically accompanied by the use of a weapon. Attempted aggravated
assault that involves the use of a weapon, even if the weapon is merely flashed or used to make a
threat, is classified as a crime of violence. Aggravated assault is distinguished from simple assault
by the seriousness of the injury to the victim, the offender's intent and the use of a deadly weapon.

Recent Increase in Violent Crime

The BJS has reported that while the rate of violent crime declined steadily between the years 1994
and 2000, it began to rise slightly in 2001 and increased significantly in 2005. While forcible rape
decreased 1.9 percent from 2004, murders and non-negligent manslaughters increased 4.8
percent, robberies increased 4.5 percent and the number of aggravated assaults rose 1.6 percent.
According to the BJS, the rise in violent crime appears to be limited to smaller to medium-sized
cities and may be linked to the spread of gangs into smaller cities with fewer law enforcement