Despite new laws to combat crime and the introduction of after school programs and efforts by community leaders to draw awareness to the needs of vulnerable neighborhoods, recent statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigations indicated an increase of crime in the country’s biggest cities. Between 2015 and 2016, the percentage of violent crimes increased, while property crimes decreased.
Upward Trend Noticed Most in Metro Areas
Every year, the FBI releases a report that details crimes committed throughout the United States over the previous 12-month period. In addition to citing specific numbers, the FBI compares each year’s totals to the previous year in an effort to gain some perspective on crime trends. Notable trends in this year’s report include:
- Across the country, violent crime increased by just over four percent.
- Property crimes decreased by slightly more than one percent.
- Murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased by more than eight percent.
- In the 30 largest (most populous) cities, homicide increased by nearly 15 percent.
- Murders committed in Chicago accounted for 20 percent of the overall increase.
However, officials are quick to point out that current crime levels are still lower than that which occurred during the 1990s. Despite the increase in violent crimes reported in 2016, driven mostly by statistics from large cities, overall crime is said to be near an all-time low.
Other Numbers of Note
The FBI tracks and reports on crime statistics as they are provided to its office from more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies. The annual report is a compilation and summation of the information gathered by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Additional statistics of interest from 2016 include:
- Nearly eight million property crimes (theft, burglary, motor vehicle theft, etc.) were reported to the FBI in 2016, totaling losses of more than $15.5 billion.
- Not including traffic violations, the annual crime report showed that law enforcement officials made in excess of 10 million arrests in 2016.
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