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FBI report shows decrease in US violent crime for third straight year

Violent crime in the US dropped for the third year in a row, according to the annual crime statistics for 2009 [press release], released Monday by the FBI. The FBI's Crime in the United States, 2009 [text] report showed a total 5.3 percent decrease in violent crimes between 2008 and 2009 to 1,318,398. Specifically, the number of murders dropped by 7.3 percent to 15,241, robberies dropped by 8.0 percent to 408,217, aggravated assaults dropped by 4.2 percent to 806,843, and forcible rapes dropped 2.6 percent to 88,097 compared to 2008 statistics. Additionally, property crime has continued to decrease for the seventh year in a row, specifically with 17.1 percent less motor vehicle thefts, 4.0 percent less larceny thefts, and 1.3 percent less burglaries. The FBI compiled the data from crime statistics from more than 17,985 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies nationwide.

In May, the FBI released its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report [text; JURIST report] disclosing that violent crime in the nation decreased 5.5 percent and property crime declined 4.9 percent, when compared with data from 2008. The drop in 2009 follows a 1.9 percent decrease for 2008 and a 0.7 percent decrease [JURIST reports] for 2007. That came after 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].

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