That report revealed that the murder rate had increased compared to the previous year.
According to a press release, the estimated number of murders nationwide increased from 22,000 in 2020 to 22,900 in 2021, a 4.3 percent jump.
The FBI explained that while murder and rape went up in 2021, robbery was down 8.9 percent, balancing things out, which they say resulted in a relatively consistent violent and property crime rate compared to 2020.
“It is important to note that these estimated trends are not considered statistically significant by NIBRS estimation methods,” they wrote, adding that “the nonsignificant nature of the observed trends is why, despite these described changes, the overall message is that crime remained consistent.”
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, however, the FBI’s latest report should be viewed with caution for a number of reasons.
Firstly, they explained, law enforcement agencies across the country have had to transition to the new National Incident Based Reporting System, which not all have done.
This has left sizable gaps in the reporting, including a lack of information from places known for having a higher than average crime rate.
Among the areas that have not switched over to the new system, and thus were not included in the 2021 report, are New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, which has stated that they don’t plan on making the shift until 2025.
According to the Brennan Center, the 2021 report was compiled using data from law enforcement agencies representing half the population, whereas prior reports used data from those representing over 95 percent of Americans.
The new system also differs from the old in that it allows for the reporting of multiple “offenses” for a given crime. For example, if a murder was committed during a robbery, the old system would have only recorded one violent crime, whereas the new will count it as two.
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