- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Statistics from the State Bureau of Investigation show overall crime in North Carolina fell by 7 percent in 2013, continuing a six-year downward trend.

The report issued Wednesday showed the overall crime rate per 100,000 people in North Carolina last year reached its lowest level since 1974.

The violent crime rate per 100,000 North Carolinians declined by 5.4 percent in 2013. Among violent crime rates, rape decreased 10.2 percent, robbery dropped 1.9 percent and murder decreased 3.8 percent, while aggravated assault fell 6.4 percent.

Juvenile arrests for so-called index crimes - murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts - are down 11 percent, while adult arrests for those crimes fell 5 percent. Juvenile arrests for all crimes are also down 12 percent, while adult arrests for all crimes are down 8 percent, according to the report.

According to the bureau, the rate of property crimes - burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft - decreased by 7.2 percent statewide. The larceny rate fell 5.9 percent, the motor vehicle theft rate fell 10.9 percent, and the burglary rate fell 9.3 percent.

The report also said bureau agents last year investigated 561 meth labs, a record number for North Carolina.

Compared to a decade ago, the overall crime rate is down 24.4 percent and the rate of violent crime is down 26.3 percent.

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