RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Violent crime has increased in Virginia since 2020, but there are still some downward trends, according to a report from the Virginia State Police.
New crime data for 2021 comes from Crime in Virginia, a comprehensive report from Virginia State Police that tracks local and statewide crime data across the commonwealth. The reports covers all instances of violent crime, including murder, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Overall, the violent crime rate increased across Virginia between 2020 and 2021. There were 16,823 violent crime offenses reported in 2021 compared to 15,713 reported in 2020, representing a 7.1% increase.
- Homicides and car thefts both increased in 2021, with homicide up 6.4% and car theft up 3.8% since 2020.
- Incidents of fraud also went up, increasing 8.4%.
Even with the overall increase in Virginia crime, there were some downward trends as well.
- Most notably, drug arrests were down by nearly half at a 46.7% decrease, with the biggest decrease in marijuana seizures. This was due to Virginians over 21 being able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use, which began in July 2021. Starting July 2022, it will now be a misdemeanor to carry more than four ounces but less than a pound of marijuana.
- Burglary also decreased by 8.3%. This is on trend with the past decade, which has seen an overall decline in burglaries throughout the state.
- Hate crime offenses are down in the commonwealth, with a 35.3% decrease in 2021 compared to 2020. The majority of 2021 hate crimes were racially or ethnically motivated.
The full Crime in Virginia report is available online at the Virginia State Police website.