The latest data released by the state's public safety department indicates Utah experienced declining criminal activity statewide last year.
The Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification compiles statistics reported by local law enforcement agencies into quarterly report.
The data is collected in two formats: summary and incident based reporting.
In the summary based system, crimes are divided into two categories: part one and part two crimes.
Part one offenses include criminal homicide, murder, negligent and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Part two offenses include all other non-traffic crimes.
With the exception of manslaughter by negligence, the part one offenses make up the index used by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, explained the state agency.
Therefore, the offenses are frequently referred to as index crimes.
The number of known offenses and arrests are reported on part one crimes.
Only arrests are reported on part two crimes. If multiple part one offenses are committed in the one criminal episode, only the most serious charge is reported.
Part one offenses are categorized as violent crimes and property crimes for analysis purposes, pointed out the state agency.
The latest quarterly report published by the Utah Bureau of Identification points out that:
During the first nine months of 2004, 71,993 index crimes were reported statewide.
The total represents a 1.39 percent decrease compared to the 73,005 index crimes reported in 2003.
Violent crime increased 0.63 percent throughout the state.
Murder jumped by 34.48 percent, robbery increased 0.55 percent and rape climbed 15.97 percent, while aggravated assault decreased 3.23 percent.
Property crime reports decreased 1.51 percent statewide.
Burglary dipped 4.83 percent, larceny declined 0.76 percent, motor vehicle theft decreased 1.64 percent and arson dropped 21.80 percent.
Law enforcement agencies reported 93,234 arrests in the first nine months of 2004.
The total is up 5.99 percent compared to 2003.
Adult arrests increased 5.94 percent and juvenile arrests climbed 6.16 percent.
The dollar value of property stolen during the first nine months of 2004 registered at $69,640,619, down by 3.80 percent from 2003. Reported recoveries totaled $19,523,511 for a 2.17 percent decrease from last year.
The statistics presented in quarterly reports are only as accurate as the data provided by local law enforcement agencies, noted the state agency. Nineteen law enforcement agencies did not submit data for the latest report.
Law enforcement agencies forward data to the state agency under the guidelines of the uniform crime reporting program. UCR is a national program using generic crime definitions to ensure data is comparable across political boundaries.
Summary based reporting has undergone only minor changes since the 1930s.
Incident based reporting uses computer technology to collect more detailed information.
The summary based system is still used by approximately one-half of Utah's law enforcement agencies.
Therefore, data from participating agencies is also presented in the summary format to ensure comparable numbers. The state agency forwards data collected from Utah law enforcement agencies to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI, in turn, combines Utah's statistics with data from other states to compile and publish an annual nationwide report.