Tennessee violent crime rate rises, outpaces national average per new FBI data

Cropped Photo: Tex Texin / CC BY 2.0 via MGN Online

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Tennessee's violent crime rate continues to rise and is outpacing the national rate according to the newest data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI released the newest totals as part of their 'Crime in the United States 2017' report issued Monday. The report tracks data from 16,000 law enforcement agencies providing statistics each year to the FBI.

Nationally, violent crime rate decreased, but in Tennessee the rate of violent crime has increased compared to last year.

According to the FBI, Tennessee had a crime rate of 651.5 incidents per 100,000 persons, well above the national rate of 394 per 100,000. The totals also reflect a continued growth compared to 2016, where Tennessee had a rate of 638.5 per 100,000.

The 2017 violent crime rate for the state is the highest since 2009, which reported 666 incidents per 100,000 persons. That was actually a decline when compared to the two previous years, one which continued to dip until 2011's rate of 607.8. However, totals have continued to rise since then, resulting in an eight year high.

The report shows Tennesseans were likely more likely to be victims of violent crimes at the hands of a stranger, with 19,698 victims of violent crimes reporting not knowing the offender. In addition, violent crimes were more likely to take place at a residence or home than any other place. Of 42,721 victims with a reported location, 25,714 (60%) reported being at a residence home when the crime took place.

53% of victims in 2017 reported as being white, followed by 45% of victims identifying as black or African American. 56% of offenders were identified as black or African American, followed by 37% of offenders as white and 7% unknown.

Those between the ages of 20-29 were also most likely to be the victim of a violent crime at the hands of those the same age range. 29% of Tennessee violent crime victims in 2017 we between 20-29 while 30% of offenders were in the same age group.

Homicides in the state saw a slight increase with 7.8 per 100,000 versus 7.4 per 100k the previous year. Aggravated assaults reported the highest rates of violent crimes with 482.9 in 2017, a marked increase to 2016's 471.2 rate.

In Nashville, the numbers of violent crimes reported to the FBI by Nashville Metro Police also saw an uptick compared to recent years. According to the report, Metro PD reported 6,661 violent crimes in 2017, an increase of 180 compared to 2016. The totals were the highest since 2011's 6,672 reported to the FBI.

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