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FBI data shows overall decrease in crime from 2009 to 2010

Violent crime is down 5.5 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to preliminary data released Monday but the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website]. The Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December 2010 [text] also showed a decrease in murder by 4.4 percent and in rape by 4.2 percent. The highest drop was the decrease in robbery at 9.5 percent. However, when broken down into four regions, Northeast, Midwest, South, and West, the Northeast saw an increase in murder by 8.3 percent, making it the only region to have a murder increase. The South saw significant decreases in crime with a 7.5 percent drop in both violent crimes and murder and a decrease of 12.6 percent in robberies. Cities voluntarily submit the data to the FBI, and the FBI warns that it might not create accurate city to city comparisons. All the figures are preliminary.

The 5.5 percent decrease was down from the 6.2 percent decrease reported in the 2010 six-month report from January to June [JURIST report], but is still the fourth year in a row that there has been a decrease in violent crime. Also in the FBI's six-month report released last December, murders dropped by 7.1 percent, robberies dropped by 10.7 percent, aggravated assaults dropped by 3.9 percent and forcible rapes dropped 6.2 percent. Last year, the FBI also reported a decrease in the number of hate crimes [JURIST report] and also cited additions to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crime Prevention Act [text; JURIST news archive] as positive improvements that will aid FBI investigation of hate crimes.

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