In 1930, the FBI began collecting and compiling data about crime in the United States in order to get a clear picture of national crime statistics. The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program receives crime data from more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies around the nation, including city, state, county, federal, tribal, and university/college law enforcement.
In the 1960's, it became apparent that state-specific crime reports could provide insight to local law enforcement that would not necessarily contribute to the national picture. Thus, funding was made available for state crime reports, and in 1973, the OSBI began the statewide administration of the Oklahoma UCR program.
The OSBI collects monthly data from 318 local law enforcement agencies and compiles the information into the annual Uniform Crime Report. In accordance with the national UCR program, the state's annual report looks at the occurrence of seven "index crimes," which include the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, and the nonviolent crimes of burglary, larceny, and auto theft.
The Oklahoma UCR looks at a number of other offenses in addition to the index crimes in order to gain a clear picture of crime rates and statistics in Oklahoma.
The Law Street rankings look at violent index crimes across the nation and their rate of occurrence in relation to population:
- Tennessee - 623.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Nevada - 607.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Alaska - 603.2 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- New Mexico - 559.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- South Carolina - 558.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Delaware - 547.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Louisiana - 496.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Florida - 487.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Maryland - 476.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Oklahoma - 469.3 violent crimes per 100,000 people
Looking at trends over the past few years, many states have had a decrease in crime--violent crime in particular. While the majority of index crimes in Oklahoma were nonviolent theft crimes, the state is one of a few that actually saw an increase in violent crime in 2012.
Violent crimes in Oklahoma increased 3.6 percent from the previous year. The rates of murder and robbery stayed relatively the same, and aggravated assault saw only a slight increase from 2011. However, rapes skyrocketed in 2012, which marked the highest number or reported rapes in the past 10 years. There were 1,675 rapes reported in Oklahoma in 2012--a nearly 13 percent increase over 2011.
So which city is the most violent in Oklahoma? Is it Oklahoma City, which TheRichest calls one of the "most gang-infested" cities in the nation? Is it Tulsa, the meth capital of the United States?
The results may surprise you. Certainly, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as the state's largest metropolitan areas, are among the top cities for violent crime. However, smaller towns also make the list:
- Muskogee - With a population of 39,472, Muskogee topped the list among the most violent cities in the state. The city had a crime rate of 1466.86, with one murder, 23 forcible rapes, 36 robberies, and 519 aggravated assaults. Aggravated assault comprised nearly 90 percent of the violent crimes in Muskogee.
- Tulsa - Tulsa's population in roughly 10 times larger than than of Muskogee, but its violent crime rate is second to the smaller town. With a violent crime rate of 989.96, Tulsa in 2012 saw 42 murders, 316 rapes, 1062 robberies, and 2529 aggravated assaults.
- Shawnee - The county seat of Pottawatomie County, Shawnee has the third highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma. With a population of 30,398, it is the smallest town in the top five violent cities in Oklahoma. Its violent crime rate of 944.14 comes from 2 murders, 24 rapes, 21 robberies, and 240 aggravated assaults.
- Lawton - At one time, Lawton was the most violent city in Oklahoma. However, it has fallen to number 4 with a crime rate of 931.35. This city of 98,781 people witnessed 13 murders, 38 rapes, 173 robberies, and 696 aggravated assaults.
- Oklahoma City - Rounding out the top five most violent cities in Oklahoma is the state's capital, Oklahoma City. With a population of 595,607--nearly 200,000 more than Tulsa--the city had a crime rate of 919.06. Its 5,474 violent crimes came from 85 murders, 389 forcible rapes, 1209 robberies, and 3,791 aggravated assaults.