Friday Crime Vids – Home Invasions

Posted: July 5, 2013 in Policing, Research, Violence
Tags: , , ,

This past week, a woman was brutally assaulted in New Jersey during a daytime home invasion. The crime was caught on a “nanny cam” that was sitting in a room of the house. The video is difficult to watch, and my heart goes out to the victim and her family.

Nanny Cam footage of home invasion assault

Fortunately, a suspect has been arrested and, as it turns out, the man was previously convicted of a  similar crime in 1991.

Fox News story on suspect’s arrest

Before you run out and sign up for an expensive security system, though, here are a few stats about home invasion-related crimes. According to a 2010 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

  • An estimated 3.7 million burglaries occurred each year on average from 2003 to 2007.
  • A household member was present in roughly 1 million burglaries and became victims of violent crimes in 266,560 burglaries.
  • Simple assault (15%) was the most common form of violence when a resident was home and violence occurred. Robbery (7%) and rape (3%) were less likely to occur when a household member was present and violence occurred.
  • Offenders were known to their victims in 65% of violent burglaries; offenders were strangers in 28%.
  • Overall, 61% of offenders were unarmed when violence occurred during a burglary while a resident was present. About 12% of all households violently burglarized while someone was home faced an offender armed with a firearm.
  • Households residing in single family units and higher density structures of 10 or more units were least likely to be burglarized (8 per 1,000 households) while a household member was present.
  • Serious injury accounted for 9% and minor injury accounted for 36% of injuries sustained by household members who were home and experienced violence during a completed burglary.

There are over 132,000,000 housing units in the U.S., so the odds of being a victim of burglary at all are slightly less than 3% to begin with (this varies, of course, depending on your neighborhood).

If your home is burglarized, there’s only about a 25% chance that you’ll actually be there when it happens.  And, if you are at home, there’s only slightly more than a 25% chance that you’ll be a victim of violence.

Finally, if you are the victim of a home invasion, it will probably be committed by someone you already know, not a stranger.

So, the type of victimization that the woman in this week’s crime vid experienced is relatively rare. That doesn’t make it any less horrifying for her or her family, but it does provide context.

In fact, you are much, much more likely to be injured in a fall at home than by any other source. Over 9,000,000 people in the U.S. went to an emergency room for a fall-related injury in 2011. According to CDC stats, falls are the leading cause of injury for most age groups (PDF).

Bathtub

If you just have to be fearful of something, be more afraid of your bathtub than of someone breaking into your house and hurting you. [Tweet This!]

As always – be safe and have a great weekend!

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