Virginia had decrease in violent crimes for 2018, increase in drug arrests and thefts

Local News

Virginia State Police have released a comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2018.

Overall, Virginia experienced a 2% decrease in violent crime (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault) compared to 2017.

The number of reported homicides decreased by 14.1%. The victims tended to be younger males; 43.7% of homicide victims were men between 18 and 34 and 49.4% of offenders were men between 18 and 34.

While reported homicides, as well as robberies, decreased, motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 2.4% compared to 2017.  During 2018, 10,472 motor vehicles were stolen and 9,836 vehicles were recovered. The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $94,796,605.

Drug and narcotic arrests also increased by 3%. Marijuana arrests accounted for 59% of all drug arrests. Arrests for amphetamines/methamphetamines had the greatest increase from 2,063 to 3,483 (68.8%).

There were 161 hate crimes reported in 2018, which represented a 20.3% decrease compared to 2017. More than 60.2% were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward religion and sexual orientation were next highest (15.5%, 14.3%, respectively). Of all reported bias-motivated crime, 33.5% was associated with destruction/damage/vandalism of property; another 36% was associated with the offense of assault.    

The full report is available online at the Virginia State Police website, under “Forms & Publications.” The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth.

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