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FBI reports decrease in violent crime for fourth straight year

Violent crime in the US dropped for the fourth consecutive year, the FBI [official website] announced [press release] on Monday. The estimates are part of the annual figures prepared as part of the Bureau's Crime in the United States (CIUS) [official website] report for 2010 [PDF]. In addition to an overall drop in violent crime, property crimes also decreased for the eighth straight year. Compared to 2009 statistics [JURIST report], violent crimes declined significantly by 6.0 percent, whereas property crimes decreased by 2.7 percent. The findings go against conventional wisdom [AP report] indicating that crime tends to increase when the economy is weak and unemployment is high. Notably, while the overall incidents of violent crime dropped nationwide, major cities in the Northeast experienced double-digit increases [Reuters report] in the number of murders, including Boston, New York and Newark, New Jersey.

The FBI report comes on the heels of the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] report [JURIST report] released last week indicating the national rate of violent crime decreased by 13 percent [press release] during 2010. The FBI data is a compilation of 18,108 city, county, university and college, state, tribal and federal agencies that voluntarily participated in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In 2006 and 2005 [JURIST reports], the CIUS report showed an increase of 1.3 percent and of 2.3 percent, respectively.

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