Violent crimes in Henderson County declined in the past year according to the FBI 2018 Uniform Crimes Report, released this month.
The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program provides statistics on several types of offenses, violent and non-violent. The data is based on a 12 month period from October to October.
Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said the reports are good for statistical data but aren't used much in day-to-day operations of the department. HCSO statistics involve crimes within the county's boundaries, but not inside any of the cities. The report shows that 54,460 of the county's 82,023 residents live outside city limits.
In 2018, Henderson County violent crimes 153 offenses. In 2017, the number was 201.
Rapes totaled 40 during the period, down from 46 the previous year.
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter totaled three in 2018. There were five reported the previous year, but only two in 2016.
Homicides in Henderson County fluctuate from year to year, for generally no detectable reason.
Robbery decreased from nine in 2017 to six in the new report. Aggravated assault fell from from 141 to 104.
The FBI definition of aggravated assault used for the report is when a weapon or deadly force is used to inflict bodily harm.
Henderson County has seen an improvement in property crime numbers over the past two years. In 2016, 1,062 were reported, followed by 831 in 2017 and 611 in the new report.
The FBI warns against using the data to rank one entity's performance against another's by comparing the crime totals because they provide no insight into variables that mold the crime in a particular area.
Hillhouse said his office may report a burglary differently from another county, depending on factors such as what is stolen.
According to the report, "one city may report more crime than a comparable one, not because there is more crime, but rather because its law enforcement agency through proactive efforts identifies more offenses."