DOJ Press Release letterhead

  • Friday, October 15, 2010
  • Contact: Office of Justice Programs
  • Telephone: (202) 307-0703

Weekly News Brief

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month—"The Internet is a global community that offers many benefits; however, potential criminals from around the world can also access our personal information," said Laurie O. Robinson, OJP's Assistant Attorney General. "The best way to protect our families, our businesses, and our communities is to learn how to protect ourselves from cyber crimes, such as identity theft. That's why OJP is joining with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month during October." Free education materials are available from NCSA.

SAR Implemented on AMTRAK’s Busy Northeast Corridor—OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) recently announced that the Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) system is working toward initial operating capability on AMTRAK's Northeast corridor between Boston and New York City and is mostly implemented on other AMTRAK lines throughout New York state, the New England states and on lines between Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va. The Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI) provides a standardized process and training for local law enforcement across the United States to identify suspicious behaviors linked to terrorist pre-incident planning and to share these suspicious activity reports with law enforcement agencies across the United States without harming privacy and civil liberties. Participating agencies have reported that a fundamental change has occurred in the way agencies are policing due to the NSI. As it relates to the AMTRAK-based campaign, SAR messages reminding train passengers that if they "See Something/Say Something" are now on the sign boards in passenger cars.

Violent and Property Crime Rates Declined in 2009—According to OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the violent crime rate declined from 19.3 to 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons during 2009. This decline continued a longer-run decline from 51.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 1994 and brought violent crime rates to their lowest levels since 1973, the first year that BJS collected data from crime victims through its National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS). The Criminal Victimization, 2009 report also noted that property crime declined during 2009 from 134.7 to 127.4 crimes per 1,000 households, primarily as a result of a decrease in theft. This decline continued a longer-term trend of declining rates from 553.6 crimes per 1,000 households in 1975.