A violent crime, violent felony, crime of violence or crime of a violent nature is a crime in which an offender or perpetrator uses or threatens to use harmful force upon a victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder, assault, rape and assassination, as well as crimes in which violence is used as a method of coercion or show of force, such as robbery, extortion and terrorism. Violent crimes may, or may not, be committed with weapons. Depending on the jurisdiction, violent crimes may be regarded with varying severities from homicide to harassment. There have been many theories regarding heat being the cause of an increase in violent crime. Theorists claim that violent crime is persistent during the summer due to the heat, further causing people to become aggressive and commit more violent crime.
Violent criminals who use hostile acts towards others include murderers, active shooters, kidnappers, rapists, burglars, muggers and torturers. Another category of violent criminals are pirates and hijackers of cars or aircraft. Criminal organizations, gangsters and drug cartels frequently employ violent criminals in their group, usually as enforcers or hitmen. Violent criminals often display characteristics such as low anger threshold, disinhibition/absence of impulsivity control, strong dominance/territorial instinct, antisocial personality, psychological/mental health issues and aggressive tendencies which enable them to carry out usually violent acts.
According to the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements' Global Report on Human Settlements 1996, violent crime has increased in most cities in recent years. Homicide, infanticide, assault, rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence now make up between 25 and 30 per cent of urban crime in many countries. Violent crime is also growing in rural areas, though more slowly.
Violent crime in the UK rose by 28% between 1988 and 1992.
The group most likely to fall victim to violent crime is the same as the group most likely to commit it: young men aged between 18 and 25.