- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2011

Crime dropped in 2010 when compared with data from 2009, according to the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report released Monday, with violent crime showing an overall 5.5 percent decrease in the number of reported cases and property crimes recording a 2.8 percent decline.

The newest numbers are based on information submitted to the FBI from 13,007 law enforcement agencies around the country and include incidents of murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Violent crime last increased in 2005. Property crime last increased in 2002.

In Washington, the number of reported incidents of violent crime dropped from 7,587 in 2009 to 7,468 in 2010, including 132 murders last year compared with 144 in 2009; 3,914 robberies in 2010 compared with 3,998 in 2009; and 3,238 aggravated assaults last year compared with 3,295 in 2009. The number of incidents of forcible rape in 2010 was 184 compared with 150 in 2009.

In Baltimore, the number of reported incidents of violent crime dropped from 9,664 in 2009 to 9,316 in 2010, including 223 murders last year compared with 238 in 2009; 3,336 robberies in 2010 compared with 3,707 in 2009; and 5,492 aggravated assaults in 2010 compared with 5,561 in 2009. The number of incidents of forcible rape in 2010 was 265 compared with 158 in 2009.

In Alexandria, the number of reported incidents of violent crime dropped from 288 in 2009 to 276 in 2010, including two murders last year compared with 5 in 2009; 125 robberies in 2010 compared with 141 in 2009; and 128 aggravated assaults in 2010 compared with 130 in 2009. The number of incidents of forcible rape in 2010 was 21 compared with 12 in 2009.

Nationally, according to the report, murder declined 4.4 percent, while forcible rape dropped 4.2 percent, robbery 9.5 percent and aggravated assault 3.6 percent — all when compared with 2009 crime figures. Geographically, the South saw the largest decline in violent crime (7.5 percent), followed by the Midwest (5.9 percent), the West (5.8 percent) and the Northeast (0.4 percent).

Regarding property crime, motor vehicle theft was down 7.2 percent, larceny-theft was down 2.8 percent, and burglary was down 1.1 percent. Arson, tracked separately from other property crimes, fell 8.3 percent nationally.

The report noted that all regions of the country experienced overall declines in property crime during 2010 from 2009 rates: down 3.8 percent in the South, 2.7 percent in the Midwest, 2.5 percent in the West and 0.5 percent in the Northeast. It also said all city population groups saw decreases in violent crime, noting that cities with populations of fewer than 10,000 residents saw a significant drop in murder — a 25.2 percent decrease.

The Northeast saw increases in some violent crime categories from 2009 figures — murder was up 8.3 percent, forcible rape up 1.4 percent and aggravated assault up 0.7 percent. Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 saw a 3.0 percent rise in murder, while cities with populations of 500,000 to 999,999 saw a 1.9 percent increase in forcible rape, and cities between 25,000 and 49,999 saw an increase of 1.3 percent in burglary. The report said the Northeast also saw an increase in burglary — up 3.5 percent, with nonmetropolitan counties reporting slight increases in burglary (1.2 percent) and larceny-theft (3.2 percent).

Complete figures for 2010 will be released this fall in the FBI’s full Crime in the United States report.

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