Virginia State Police publish 2020 crime report

Virginia

(Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The comprehensive report on local and statewide crime in Virginia for 2020 is now officially online.

The Crime in Virginia report provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities, and counties across the Commonwealth.

The report also breaks down criminal offenses and arrests by the reporting agency.

Overall, Virginia experienced a 1.9 percent decrease in violent crime offenses compared to 2019. There were 15,713 violent crime offenses reported in 2020 compared to 16,018 violent crime offenses in 2019.

Authorities identify violent crimes as offenses of murder, forcible sex offenses (rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object per the FBI’s updated rape definition), robbery, and aggravated assault.

According to the report, the number of reported homicides increased from 428 to 528 (23.4%). Victims and offenders tended to be younger males; 45.1% of homicide victims were men between 18 and 34 and 52.7% of offenders were men between 18 and 34. 

Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 83% of homicides and 50.4% of robberies. Firearms were used in more than one-third (35.2%) of aggravated assault cases.

Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 6% compared to 2019 during which 10,575 motor vehicles were stolen in 10,044 offenses.

Drug arrests decreased by more than a third (36.7%) with the largest percentage decrease in the under 18 age group (48.6%).  The number of reports of drugs seized decreased for nearly all drug types, especially marijuana (31.7%), due in part to the decriminalization of possessing less than 1 ounce of the drug effective July 1, 2020.

Burglary decreased by 18.4%. Of the 11,413 burglaries and attempted burglaries, more than half (52.2%) took place at night between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., a reverse pattern from 2019 during which 54.8% of burglaries occurred during the day. 

There were 190 hate crime offenses, involving 193 victims, reported in 2020 representing a 2.7% increase compared to 2019. Two offenses indicated more than one type of bias motivation. Nearly three-fourths (72.8%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation and religion were next highest (14.4%, 11.8%, respectively).

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