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FBI reports decrease in violent crime for first half of 2011

The FBI [official website] announced Monday that violent crime in the US has dropped [press release], continuing a trend lasting for the past four-and-a-half years. The 2011 figures for January through June were compiled by the Bureau's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) [official website] in a preliminary semiannual report [text]. Violent crimes, which include murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped 6.4 percent in the first months of 2011 compared to the same time in 2010. Property crimes, including burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft, dropped 3.7 percent and arson decreased 8.6 percent. The FBI report did not give any reason for the decrease in crimes nationwide, but the latest numbers provide further evidence of no crime spike coinciding with tough economic conditions [Reuters report] and high unemployment.

The FBI data is a compilation of more than 18,000 jurisdictions that voluntarily participate in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The report for 2010 showed a decrease of 6.0 percent in violent crime and a decrease of 2.7 percent in property crime compared to 2009 statistics [JURIST reports]. The decrease in violent crime began after 2006 and 2005 statistics [JURIST reports] showed an increase of 1.3 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. Property crime has decreased for its eighth consecutive year.

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