The 2013 Part I Crime rate for Virginia Beach was 26.7 crimes per 1,000 residents, the lowest since 1964. The crime rate for 2013 was calculated using the July 1 estimates from The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Part I Crimes include both violent crimes -- homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; and property crimes -- burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Annually, law enforcement agencies nationwide must report all crime uniformly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
For 2013, violent crime, which accounts for 6.2% of our reported Part I Crimes, decreased by 11.5% when compared to 2012. Homicides decreased 19.0% from 21 to 17. Robberies decreased 4.4% from 320 to 306. Aggravated assaults decreased 23.8% from 349 to 266. Rapes increased 2.6% from 155 to 159. However, in 2013, the FBI's expanded definition of rape was implemented. Rapes include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, and sexual assault with an object. The 2012 rape calculations were updated using the new methodology for comparison purposes. The Part I Crime rate for violent crime is 1.7 crimes per 1,000 residents for the City of Virginia Beach.
Property crime accounted for 93.8% of reported Part I Crime and decreased 4.7%. Burglaries decreased 9.8% and larcenies decreased 3.7%. Motor vehicle thefts decreased 7.2% and arsons decreased 13.4%. The Part I Crime rate for property crime is 25.0 crimes per 1,000 residents.
The Virginia Beach Police Department cleared 74.5% of violent crime cases during 2013 and 28.0% of property crime cases. According to the most recent figures from the FBI’s 2012 Crime in the United States, the average violent crime clearance rate for all cities with a population of 250,000 or more was 38.4% and the average property crime clearance rate was 13.8%.
Chief James Cervera said, “We are pleased to report that our overall crime rate has declined over a ten year period, and especially so that violent crime in Virginia Beach declined another 11.5% last year. However, we recognize that this decline means little to those who were victimized. Our consistent above average clearance rate is the result of the hard working and the exceptionally talented men and women of the Virginia Beach Police Department. Today, we are in an era of pro-active and preventive policing. We’re better informed; we rely on precise data, technology to track crime and information to help us develop better policing strategies. Coordinated approaches like these ensure that Virginia Beach remains one of the safest cities in the nation. We are no longer just a cop on the corner."