Violent crime increases for second straight year

Angelica Greene
September 26, 2017

The 2016 rate of violent crimes - defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as assault, rape, murder, and robbery - represents the largest such rise in 25 years.

Murders fell 32 percent year to year, with 116 in 2016 and 78 in 2016.

In Michigan the stats show an increase in violent crimes of just over 9 percent to more than 45,000 violent crimes past year.

The FBI shows Detroit is the most violent large city in the country, again.

The murder and violent crime rates remain dramatically below the levels of the early 1990s, when almost 25,000 Americans were murdered each year.

Ronal Serpas, chairman of Law Enforcement Leaders and the former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, said while the 2016 upticks should be addressed, preliminary data from 2017 indicates that crime is back on the decline.

Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, pointed out that only five years since 1971 have had lower violent crime rates than 2016.

"False narratives about a national crime wave will not help".

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The surges appeared to be driven by increases in murders in Chicago, Baltimore and some other large cities where violence persisted even as neighboring communities reported declines.

In other cities, there were declines, including NY, the country's largest city, which reported 335 murders last year, down from 352 a year earlier and less than half the 673 murders reported in 2000. Only 2011, when 1,582 violent crimes were reported, had a lower number. Craig has said for years that the data isn't accurate and that the city's new $9 million system is far more complete.

"About half of the homicide rise in Chicago took place in five neighborhoods", said John Pfaff, a professor of Law at Fordham University Law School.

Therefore, Pfaff says, when President Trump rhetorically asked repeatedly what's going on in Chicago, the answers are concentrated in nine percent of the city's population, and not prone to national analysis or easy answers. The murder rate spiked more than 20 percent in the largest cities.

Since the early 1990s, as the USA population has grown, murders have dropped to about 14,000 a year. Violent crimes dropped 4 percent, while property crimes dropped by about 2 percent. The number of reported homicides has tended to fluctuate from year to year over the last decade.

The number of reported rapes fell by 14, from 95 to 81. On top of homicides, Chicago also saw increases in 2016 in robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts over the previous year.

The crime rates in the FBI's annual report on crime in the United States are estimates because, while the agency receives data from law-enforcement agencies all across the country, not all provide an entire year's worth of information.

Other reports by GizPress

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