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