- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Violent and property crime dropped slightly during the first six months of 2007, according to the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report released yesterday, ending a two-year trend of increases in the reported incidents of violent crime.

The report said the nation experienced a 1.8 percent decrease in violent crime and a 2.6 percent decline in property crime compared with the same period in 2006.

The report is based on information from law-enforcement agencies that contributed three to six comparable months of data to the FBI from January through June of both 2006 and 2007. A total of 11,673 law-enforcement agencies met the criteria to be included in the current report.

Each of the violent crime offense categories — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — decreased nationwide from January through June 2007 when compared with the corresponding months in 2006, the report showed.

Incidents of murder dropped by 1.1 percent, forcible rape declined 6.1 percent, robbery decreased 1.2 percent and aggravated assault declined by 1.7 percent. The data compiled by population groups for the nation’s cities showed that the largest decline in violent crime — 5.1 percent — for the trend period was in cities with 250,000 to 499,999 residents.

The report said violent crime increased 1.1 percent in nonmetropolitan counties and 1.1 percent in cities with populations of 10,000 to 24,999. Small increases also were seen in cities with fewer than 10,000 people (0.3 percent) and in cities with populations of 100,000 to 249,999 (0.1 percent).

The report concluded:

• Murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 6.5 percent in cities with 1 million or more inhabitants but increased 4.9 percent in metropolitan counties, 3.2 percent in cities with 50,000 to 99,999 residents and 1.3 percent in nonmetropolitan counties.

• Forcible rape declined in all population groups. The greatest decrease (14.2 percent) occurred in cities with 1 million or more inhabitants; the smallest drop (2.8 percent) occurred in the nation’s smallest cities (those with fewer than 10,000 people).

• Robbery declined 4.3 percent in cities with 1 million or more inhabitants and 3.4 percent in cities with 250,000 to 499,999 residents. Robbery increased 3.9 percent in cities with 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants and 3.4 percent in nonmetropolitan counties.

• Aggravated assault decreased 6.2 percent in cities with 250,000 to 499,999 in population and 3.3 percent in cities with 1 million or more residents. Aggravated assault offenses rose 2.1 percent in cities with 10,000 to 24,999 inhabitants and 1.7 percent in nonmetropolitan counties.

Each of the property crime offense categories — burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft — decreased in the first six months of 2007 compared with the same six-month period in 2006, the report showed. Burglary decreased 1.3 percent, larceny-theft declined 2.1 percent and motor vehicle theft dropped 7.4 percent.

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