By Elaine Owen, Editor ~~
New FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) data shows crime fell in the United States—largely due to continued declines in property offenses—and Georgia saw a downturn in violent crimes.
Last week the FBI published its final analysis of “Crime in the United States, 2017,” finding that the estimated number of violent crimes nationwide fell slightly .2 percent compared to 2016, while property crimes dropped nearly 4 percent. Experts say it marks the 16th consecutive year in which crime has declined.
The drop in violent crime is particularly notable given that the rate had increased in 2015 and 2016. The FBI estimated there were 382.9 violent crimes for every 100,000 Americans last year, down from 2016 when that number was 386.3. There were 17,284 murders and non-negligent manslaughters, down 1.45 percent.
In Georgia, the violent crime rate was lower than the national rate last year at 357.2 per 100,000 residents. That includes 703 murders and non-negligent manslaughters in the state last year. The murder rate in Georgia was 6.7 per 100,000 people, higher than the national rate of 5.3.
The FBI also estimated there were 2,362.2 property crimes per 100,000 Americans nationwide. That’s down from 2,451.6 in 2016 and lower than Georgia, where the property offense rate was 2,860.2 per 100,000 residents.
Other findings include:
● Estimated 1.2 million violent crimes across the
● Estimated number of robberies fell 4 percent and the estimated number of murders and nonnegligent manslaughters fell 0.7 percent.
● Estimated number of aggravated assaults and rapes increased 1 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.
● Number of burglaries plunged 7.6 percent while the number of larceny-thefts fell 2.2 percent.
● FBI estimated 10.6 million arrests last year—excluding traffic violations.
● Experts at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School said the crime rate for the 30 largest cities in America dropped about 1 percent and that the murder rate fell 2.4 percent.
“Declines were especially pronounced in the largest cities,” the center wrote on its website. “In cities with populations over 1 million, murders decreased by 8.1 percent. In suburban areas—comprising more than a third of the country–murders dropped by 1.9 percent, essentially stabilizing.”
In Chicago, a city where killings have gained national headlines, the murder rate fell nearly 16 percent. There were 112 fewer killings in the city last year compared to 2016.
According to the Center, that trend is expected to continue this year, as the 2018 murder rate in these cities is projected to be 7.6 percent lower than 2017 and will likely end up somewhere around the 2015 rate, which was near the bottom of the “historic” post-1990 decline.
The FBI crime report is based on data provided voluntarily by law enforcement agencies across the country. Violent crimes include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
About 16,600 agencies submitted data last year out of more than 18,500 city, county, university and college, state, tribal and federal agencies