Index Crimes Comparison – Evaluating Rates of Homicide, Robbery and Rape in United States, Canada and Germany for 2012

Introduction

There are eight major classifications of crime identifies by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which are collected as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. These categories are referred to as index crimes. The categories are subdivided into two major subcategories namely; violent and property crime. Violent index crimes are index crimes committed against a person while property index crimes involve crimes that have no direct threat or harm to an individual.  Violent index crimes include homicide, robbery, rape, and aggravated assault and battery. The property index crimes on the other hand include arson, burglary, theft, as well as motor vehicle theft.  We focus on three index crimes, and conduct a comparative assessment of each index crime between United States, Germany and Canada for the year 2012.

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Homicide

Homicide simply implies the killing of one human being by another human being. A homicide incident can be justifiable excusable or criminal subject to the circumstances of the killing as well as the state of mind of the offender. Criminal homicide is any unjustified, inexcusable killing of one human being by another. Intentional homicide involves the unjustified, unexcused killing of one human being by another with malice aforethought. The homicide rate has remained one of the best measures of crime comparison across countries due to the fact that there is ore likelihood of it being thoroughly investigated besides being reliably reported in official crime statistics. It should be noted that the definitions and criterion for counting homicide are generally similar internationally.

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It is important to note that homicide has remained comparatively rare in Canada, accounting for less than 1% of all violent crimes reported in 2012 (Eisner, 2013). Nonetheless, homicide is considered to be the gravest criminal offense that comes with devastating consequences for the family and relations of the victims.  Additionally, this crime calls for considerable resources from all aspects of the Canadian criminal justice system.  After an year of increase, the number of homicides reported in 2012 represented a decline with 543 cases reported, 55 lesser than the year 2011. Consequently, this represented a homicide rate of 1.56 per 1000,000 populations which was a 10% decline from the previous year. It is important to note that that there were fewer incidences of homicides committed against both males and females in 2012 with homicide rates for males reaching it lowest point in more than four decades. The homicide for rate for females for 2012 was relatively similar to the rates reported in the recent years.  The homicide rates for Canada remains higher compared to most of her peer countries. In 2012, Canada’s homicide rate was ranked as the fifth highest among 17 countries that are considered to be comparable to Canada (UNODC, 2013).

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There were 578 homicide cases in 2012 representing a 2.2% decline from 2011. In general, all crimes dropped by a 2.6 percent during the last decade making Germany to be considered as one of the safest countries in the industrialized world. Homicide rates throughout Germany are analogous to those in most first-world countries. For instance there is a marginal difference in the homicide rates for Germany and its peer countries.  Homicide as it is most crimes in Germany has been associated with drugs. It is important to note that illegal drugs, predominantly cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, as well as marijuana, are extensively obtainable in Germany. The illegitimate vending and circulation of these and other drugs habitually take place near main train stations, public parks as well as nightclubs. While drug-related activity does not usually affect most tourists or business travelers, one should be aware that Germany has the same types of drug-related crime as those encountered in any major cities in the world (OSAC, 2014).

The year 2012 saw an estimated 15,540 incidences of homicide in the US which occurred nationwide, representing a homicide rate of 4.76 per 100,000 populations and an increase of 0.7 percent from the 2011 estimate. Assessing the 5- and 10-year development, the 2012 estimated homicide count was 12.9 percent below the 2008 level and 12.2 below the 2003 level.Most of the intentional homicide cases in the US are committed by the use of firearms. By contrast, Britain, Australia and Canada combined report fewer than 450 gun-related murders annually. The non-gun-related homicide rate in the US is comparable to the rest of the developed world. Subsequently, the availability of firearms escalates the rate to as twice as high as the rest of the first-world countries. In 2012 for which supplemental data were received, most were male accounting for 77 percent.  As regards to racial disparities of the victims, 51.1 percent were black, 46.3 percent were white, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 130 victims (FBI, 2013).

Robbery

Robbery is considered to be the taking of, or effort to take, something of value from the possession, safekeeping, or control of a person by means of force or through threat of violence or force. In 2012, there were 122,174 cases of robbery reported in the US, subsequently representing 45.1 rate per 100,000 people. Canada had 2,368 cases of robbery representing a rate of 8.9 per 100,000 people in the population, while Germany reported 48,711 robbery cases, a 60.63 rate per 100,000 people.  

Rape

Until the 1984, rape was considered as the carnal knowledge of a female, compulsorily and without her consent. After July 1984, sexual assault laws became gender-unbiased and the old perception of rape was widened to include numerous types of sexual attack. Rape implies forced sexual contact including both psychosomatic compulsion as well as physical force. Such forced sexual intercourse may be vaginal, anal as well as oral penetration by the criminal (s). Rape incidents Include attempted rapes, both male and female victims, as well as both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape may include vocal threats of sexual assault. Rape as an index crime now encapsulates all sexual assaults, completed as well as attempted, provoked and non-aggravated. For the year 2012, USA reported a rape rate of 27.3 per 100,000 populations while that of Canada and Germany was 1.7 and 9.4 per 1000,000 populations respectively.

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