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FBI: Crime Dropped in 2018

Violent crime rate declined 4.3%, robbery and burglary down double digits

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• February 28, 2019 5:00 am

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday violent crime dropped across the country in 2018.

The agency released the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report comparing the first six months of 2018 with the first six months of 2017. In the report, the FBI said robberies, murders, non-negligent manslaughters, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and aggravated assaults were all down in that time period. However, it also found rape increased slightly.

The FBI report found violent crime decreased by 4.3 percent between 2017 and 2018. That represents a significant drop compared with last year when violent crime was down only by 0.8 percent.

Robbery and burglary saw the largest decrease of the crimes tracked by the FBI with the former dropping 12.5 percent and the later dropping 12.7 percent. Arson dropped 9.4 percent, property crime fell 7.2 percent, murder was down 6.7 percent, larceny fell 6.3 percent, car theft fell 3.3 percent, and aggravated assault was down 2 percent. Rape, the only crime to see an increase, was up 0.6 percent.

The FBI said violent crime dropped throughout most of the country, though the West saw a 0.2 percent increase and dropped in both cities and rural areas. Cities, especially smaller cities, saw the largest decrease.

"The overall number of violent crimes decreased in all city population groups. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 25,000 to 49,999 reported the largest decrease, 8.2 percent," the agency said in a statement. "Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 1,000,000 and over and in cities with populations of 50,000 to 99,999 reported the smallest decreases, 2.8 percent. Violent crime decreased 4.5 percent in metropolitan counties and fell 3.5 percent in nonmetropolitan counties."

Similarly, the FBI said property crimes were down across the country and cities saw a greater decrease than rural areas.

"The overall number of property crimes decreased in all city population groups," the agency said. "Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of under 10,000 inhabitants reported the largest decrease, 10.7 percent. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 1,000,000 and over reported the smallest decrease, 2.1 percent. Property crime decreased 11.1 percent in nonmetropolitan counties and 7.6 percent in metropolitan counties."

The agency said arson was also down everywhere except the west. Cities again saw the sharpest decline but large cities actually saw a small increase in arson crimes.

"Three of the nation's four regions reported decreases in the number of arsons," the agency said. "Arsons were down 16.5 percent in the Midwest, 15.9 percent in the South, and 12.8 percent in the Northeast. However, arson offenses rose 2.8 percent in the West. Arson offenses declined 14.7 percent in cities with populations from 500,000 to 999,999, the largest decrease within the city groupings. Cities with populations of 1,000,000 and over experienced a 0.7 percent increase in arson offenses. Arsons decreased 8.8 percent in metropolitan counties and 5.9 percent in nonmetropolitan counties."

The report was compiled using data voluntarily submitted by 14,509 law enforcement agencies to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The preliminary report is issued in the first quarter each year but only covers the first six months of the previous year.

The full report, which provides details on crime data for all of 2018, will be issued later this year.

Published under: Crime, FBI