Published On: Thu, Jan 25th, 2018

New FBI report: Overall crime down, but murders up slightly

Preliminary statistics show declines in the number of both violent crimes and property crimes reported for the first half of 2017 when compared with the first half of 2016, according to the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January – June 2017, released this week. The report includes data from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide that submitted crime data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

According to the report, overall violent crime decreased 0.8 percent in the first six months of 2017 compared with the same time frame in 2016, though the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters reported increased by 1.5 percent. Additionally, the number of rapes (revised definition) decreased 2.4 percent, robberies decreased 2.2 percent, and aggravated assaults were down 0.1 percent.

Overall reported property crime offenses dropped 2.9 percent in the first half of 2017 compared with the first half of 2016. Burglaries decreased 6.1 percent, and larceny-thefts decreased 3 percent. One area of property crime that did rise was motor vehicle thefts, with a 4.1 percent increase.

This UCR report is the first to only show rape data submitted by those agencies using the UCR Program’s revised definition of rape.

Crime in the United States, 2017, the full report for the year, will be released later in 2018.

Crime Scene Tape photo/edited pic from FBI.gov

Even Chicago had a 16 percent decline in murders last year, to 650. (In 1974, the city had 970 homicides.)

Patrick Sharkey, chair of NYU’s sociology department and scientific director of Crime Lab New York, attributes the change, in part, to something that happened in the 1990s. He says, “The entire country, really kind of for the first time in a while, saw violence as a national crisis and mobilized to deal with it.”

Sharkey wrote a new book, titled “Uneasy Peace,” telling NPR “So we have millions of Americans who are under the surveillance of the criminal justice system. We’ve all seen the instances of aggressive or violent policing. So these are part of the reason why crime fell, but they’ve also brought some of the worst costs of the crime decline as well.”

photo Wset10

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