FBI reports rise in violent crime in first half of 2006
Violent crime nationwide increasedby3.7percentinthefirstsix months of this year, but property crime dropped by 2.6 percent, the FBI said on Dec. 18.
The FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, based on statistics submitted by 11,535 law-enforcement agencies, showed increases in murders (up 1.4 percent), robberies (up 9.7 percent) and aggravated assaults (up 1.2 percent) over the same period in 2005. Forcible rapes dropped 0.1 percent.
Last year, the number of violent crimes increased by 2.5 percent, the largest gain in 15 years, and the Justice Department pledged to de- termine why the crime numbers were continuing to increase. A report on the matter has not yet been completed.
Washington, D.C. was not in- cluded in the FBI report, but Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey has declared progress in a renewed fight against violent crime in the city, which spiked in July — prompting the declaration of a citywide crime emergency.
According to the FBI report, the largest increases in the reported number of violent crimes, 12.8 percent, occurred in small cities with populationsof10,000to24,999,while cities with populations of 500,000 to 999,999 had the most marked increaseinreportedmurderoffenses, up 8.4 percent.
In the property-crime category, accordingtothereport,thenumber of larceny-theft offenses decreased 3.8 percent nationwide for the sixmonthperiod,whilereportedmotor vehicle thefts declined 2.3 percent. Only burglary offenses showed an increase, up 1.2 percent from the 2005 level.
Thoughreportedproperty-crime offensesasawholeweredowninall of the nation’s population groups, the report said the number of reported burglary offenses was up in all of the population groups with the exceptions of cities with 1 million or more inhabitants, where they declined by 1.5 percent, and the nation’s nonmetropolitan counties, down 3.7 percent.
According to the report, reported property crimes were down in three of the four regions. The Midwest was the only region to show a cumulative increase in the volume of reported property crimes, up 1.7 percent overall with increases of 5.8 percent for burglary, 0.7 percent for larceny-theft and 0.3 percent for motor vehicle theft.
The report said that arson offenses,whicharetrackedseparately fromotherproperty-crimeoffenses, increased 6.8 percent nationwide.