Homicide rate down 10 percent, FBI says

By Associated Press
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The homicide rate dropped 10 percent in the first half of this year as crime rates reached their lowest point nationally since the 1960s, the FBI reported Monday.

Preliminary figures collected by the FBI also show that car thefts dropped significantly in the first half of 2009, falling nearly 19 percent and continuing a sharp downward trend.

Overall, the rate of violent crime fell by 4.4 percent and the rate of property crime dropped by 6.1 percent, the FBI reported.

In the District, violent crime dropped by 7.6 percent and property crime by 3 percent. Homicide dropped by 20 percent, and aggravated assault and burglary each fell 17 percent.

The figures are based on data supplied by more than 11,700 police and law enforcement agencies. They compare reported crimes per population in the first six months of this year with the first six months of last year.

The data for early 2009 suggest that the crime-dropping trend of 2008 is not just continuing but accelerating. In 2008, the data showed a nearly 4 percent drop in homicide and an overall drop in violent crime of 1.9 percent from 2007 to 2008.

According to the FBI figures, reports of violent crime fell about 7 percent in cities with 1 million or more people. But in towns with 10,000 to 25,000 people, violent crime ticked up slightly by 1.7 percent.

Separate statistics compiled by the Justice Department measure both reported and unreported crimes.

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