FBI Reports Violent-Crime Uptick, but Numbers Down Overall

Posted September 27, 2017

San Diego was the safest big city in the United States a year ago in terms of murders, while the San Diego-Carlsbad metro area had fewer violent crimes in 2016 than all but three of the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the country, according to statistics released Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Overall violent crime was up 4.1% previous year, while murder increased by 8.6%, according to statistics on national crime released by the agency on Monday. Though the violent crime numbers rose from 2015 to 2016, the five-year and 10-year trends show an increase from 2012 (up 2.6%) and a decrease from 2007 (down 12.3%).

There were declines in other cities, including NY, which reported 335 murders last year, down from 352 a year earlier and less than half the 673 murders reported in 2000. A total of 17,250 people were reported killed in the USA in 2016, with the number of murders increasing by about 8.6% in comparison to 2015. The FBI reports that there were 21 murders in 2016 and 41 murders in 2015 in Horry County. Nationwide, the estimated number of violent crimes increased for a second straight year. The violent crime rate rose 3.4 percent compared with the 2015 rate, and the property crime rate declined 2.0 percent.

In the South region, which includes Oklahoma, violent crime went up by 3.5 percent. Sessions has vowed to confront what he called "the rising tide of violent crime in America".

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The new numbers show that violent crime increased by 11 percent from 2015 in Myrtle Beach.

Beyond a narrative told by national statistics, violent crime continues to be concentrated in a handful of large cities and experts caution that local nuance is critical to understanding the overall increase.

The FBI surveyed more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies to compile its annual Uniform Crime Reporting program.

Sessions said the country needed to "dismantle criminal organizations and gangs, stop the scourge of drug trafficking, and send a strong message to criminals that we will not surrender our communities to lawlessness and violence".

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But, as he was heading late Monday afternoon to a Neighborhood Watch meeting in Riverbank, he said, "early intervention, prevention and education, along with engaging the community by helping us through the Neighborhood Watch and other crime reduction efforts, will also have a positive net effect on property crime".

The city's property crime drop in 2016 was driven by a 17 percent decline in burglaries. Killings in Oakland remained level, at 85, from 2015 to 2016, while the violent-crime rate dropped 1 percent.

The U.S. Department of Justice is set to release a separate crime report that Gelb hopes will help provide a clearer snapshot of crimes in the country.

The FBI said violent crime was up 4.1 percent nationally, including an 8.6 percent spike in murders.

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