HARRISBURG PA – Overall crime statewide last year was up slightly – less than one-half of 1 percent – and property crimes were up by 2.8 percent, compared to 2007 statistics, but violent crimes fell by 1 percent, according to the 2008 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) released Wednesday (July 22, 2009) by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Bad guys were looking for, and in some cases found, oppotunities last year.

Bad guys were looking for, and in some cases found, opportunities last year.

State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said a total of 1,007,674 crimes were reported to troopers during 2008, an increase of 0.4 percent over 1,003,397 crimes reported in 2007. Report data, which can be customized to look at specific crimes or localities, is available online.

Violent crimes, including murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped from 50,965 in 2007 to 50,444 last year. Property crimes, including burglary, larceny and theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson, increased from 289,055 in 2007 to 297,042 in 2008.

Other conclusions from the report:

  • Fewer kids got into trouble during 2008. Arrests of juveniles for all crimes decreased 2.6 percent to 104,062.
  • Hate crime incidents dropped, too, from 136 in 2007 to 90 in 2008.
  • More drunks were behind the wheel. Arrests for driving under the influence increased 3.5 percent to 54,114. Of the total, 78 percent of those arrested were male.

Pennsylvania’s web-based UCR system allows law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Limerick (PA) Township Police Department, to enter monthly data directly into a state police database. It can be viewed there as soon as submitted.