FBI crime stats: Violent offenses, property crimes declined in 2017

Violent and property crimes decreased nationally, according to the FBI’s annual survey of crime in the United States.

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Preliminary national numbers portend a further decline this year..

The 2017 stats are welcome news after the previous two years showed slight increases in violent crime. Last year nationally, violent crime dipped 0.9 percent, a rate of 392.9 offenses per 100,000 residents. Property crime was down 3.6 percent, or 2,362 offenses per 100,000 residents — the lowest total since the late 1960s.

Jeff Sessions, who was sworn in as U.S. attorney general in February 2017, took credit for the positive numbers, telling a law enforcement group Monday, “Those are the kind of results you get when you support law enforcement. Those are the kind of results we get when we work together.”

“If you want more shootings and more death, then listen to the (American Civil Liberties Union), Black Lives Matter, or Antifa,” Sessions said. “If you want public safety, then listen to the police professionals who have been studying this for 35 years.”

Baltimore remains America’s most dangerous city with a population greater than 500,000, recording 342 homicides in 2017, a staggering rate of 56 murders per 100,000 people. It was even worse in St. Louis, with a population of around 300,000 and a murder rate of 66 per 100,000 people.

There was some good news for America’s urban centers. According to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan public policy and law institute, murder rates dropped 8.1 percent in the country’s biggest cities.

The Brennan Center is forecasting a similar drop in 2018, projecting the murder rate in America’s 30 biggest cities to drop 7.6 percent.

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