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FBI report shows decrease in US violent crime

[JURIST] The 2007 Crime in the US (CIUS) report [materials; report summary] released Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website] indicates that the level of violent crime in the US dropped by 0.7 percent between 2006 and 2007. The drop follows two years of increasing rates of similar crimes, including a 2006 increase of 1.3 percent and a 2005 increase of 2.3 percent [JURIST reports]. Specifically, between 2006 and 2007, the estimated number of forcible rapes dropped by 2.5 percent, murders and nonnegligent manslaughters by 0.6 percent, aggravated assaults by 0.6 percent, and robberies by 0.5 percent. Additionally, the rate of property crime, which has decreased each year over the past five years, decreased again by about 1.4 percent. The only regional increase [state and regional overview] in overall violent crimes occurred in the South, which showed an increase in volume by 1.6 percent. AP has more.

After the release early this year of the FBI's 2007 Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report [text; JURIST report], US Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced [text; JURIST report] that the Bush administration would request an additional $200 million dollars in federal funding to help state and local authorities combat violent crime. Although the $200 million is a significant increase over the $75 million earmarked for the program in 2007 [DOJ press release], many mayors expressed concern that the money would only be enough to bolster existing programs and would likely not cover the cost of hiring any new police officers in the small cities and rural areas that the report indicated experienced a rise in violent offenses.

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