Vi­o­lent crime up in U.S. in first six months of 2015

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Mark Ber­man

wash­ing­ton» The num­ber of vi­o­lent crimes was up in the first half of 2015 com­pared with the same pe­riod a year ear­lier. In­creases were seen across the coun­try and spanned dif­fer­ent types of crimes, fed­eral au­thor­i­ties said Tues­day.

The num­bers of mur­ders, rapes, as­saults and rob­beries were up for the first six months of 2015. Over­all vi­o­lent crime was up 1.7 per­cent, an in­crease that fol­lowed two con­sec­u­tive years of de­clines, ac­cord­ing to the FBI. Th­ese fig­ures come af­ter a year that saw mur­der rates go up in cities na­tion­wide, spark­ing a se­ries of tense me­dia re­ports.

The num­bers are among the pre­lim­i­nary fig­ures re­leased by the FBI as part of its Uni­form Crime Re­port­ing pro­gram, a na­tional store­house re­ly­ing on the vol­un­tary par­tic­i­pa­tion of more than 18,000 law en­force­ment agen­cies.

The num­bers re­leased Tues­day came from more than 12,000 agen­cies sub­mit­ting data for the first six months of 2014 and 2015.

Be­tween Jan­uary and June 2015, the num­ber of mur­ders was up 6.2 per­cent, with the big­gest jumps seen in the coun­try’s small­est and largest ar­eas. Mur­ders were up 17 per­cent in ar­eas with fewer than 10,000 res­i­dents, while mur­ders were up 12.4 per­cent in places with be­tween half a mil­lion and a mil­lion res­i­dents and up 10.8 per­cent in places with more than 1 mil­lion res­i­dents.

In­cor­po­rated ar­eas with fewer than 10,000 peo­ple ac­count for about 9.1 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion.

Most lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies rep­re­sent smaller ar­eas, even though they com­bine to em­ploy fewer of­fi­cers than larger ar­eas, Jus­tice Depart­ment data shows.

Seven out of 10 lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies serve ar­eas with fewer than 10,000 res­i­dents, em­ploy­ing about an eighth of all full-time lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers. By com­par­i­son, only 3 per­cent of lo­cal po­lice de­part­ments serve pop­u­la­tions of at least 100,000 peo­ple, and they em­ploy about half of lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers.

The FBI found that vi­o­lent crime in­creased in most re­gions — with one no­table ex­cep­tion. It ac­tu­ally fell by 3.2 per­cent in the North­east, even as it ticked up by 5.6 per­cent in the West, 1.6 per­cent in the South and 1.4 per­cent in the Mid­west.

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