FBI: Crime rate fell in 2017

FBI: Crime rate fell in 2017
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The number and rate of both property and violent crimes committed across the United States fell in 2017, led by big declines in some cities hit hard in recent years by waves of violence.

Data released by the FBI shows 382.9 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2017, down from 386.6 in 2016, about a 1 percent decrease.

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Property crime declined even more rapidly, to 2,362.2 crimes per 100,000 residents, a 3.6 percent decrease. Last year's property crime rate was the lowest since the late 1960s, according to FBI data and data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Robberies, murders and burglaries all declined from last year, though assaults and motor vehicle thefts rose slightly. The FBI estimated that victims of property crimes lost $15.3 billion in 2017.

Both the number and rate of crimes committed across the country are still slightly above the recent low that was reached in 2014. But the long-term decline in crime that began in the early 1990s is still evident.

There were about 200,000 fewer violent crimes committed in 2017 than there were in 1999, even though the country's population has risen by 50 million people. The number of property crimes has dropped by more than 2 million in just a decade.

Early estimates suggest national crime rates have continued to drop in 2018, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's School of Law. The Brennan Center estimates crime is down in the nation's 30 largest cities, including big declines in some of the cities that experienced the worst violence in the country.

Midyear data suggests the murder rate will decline more than 7 percent over last year, led by steep drops in San Francisco, Chicago and Baltimore, where gang violence has claimed hundreds of lives in recent years. Overall crime was down almost 3 percent in the first half of 2018.

"If our estimates hold, the data would undercut claims of rising crime in America's largest cities," Ames Grawert, a senior counsel at the Brennan Center, said in a statement. He said the decline in crime is coming in cities that were primarily responsible for a recent spike in murder rates.

Those figures, both from 2017 and 2018, stand in contrast to President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE's assertions that crime is on the rise. Trump and some Republican candidates have used security issues in an effort to energize their voters ahead of the midterm elections, even though FBI statistics have shown a decades-long decline in crime rates.

"Concerns about a widespread crime wave appear overblown," Grawert said.