Violent Crime Rate in US Keeps Dropping, Lowest Since 1960s

Violent crime in the United States has dropped, the FBI has reported, with today's crime rate now similar to what it was in the 1960s.

Although there was no reason given for the decline, the FBI presented on Monday statistics that show that for the first half of the year, from January to June, violent crime, which includes murder, rape and theft, dropped by 6.4 percent, compared to the same time period in 2010.

Rates have been decreasing since 2008, with both murder and robbery experiencing the sharpest drops since last year – 5.7 and 7.7 percent, respectively. Arson, which is categorized as a property crime, was down by no less than 8.6 percent nationwide. A number of statistic tables were made available on the FBI website.

A total of 12,554 law enforcement agencies shared reports that contributed to the overall statistics, and the crime rate decreased in every single region. Murder in the Northeast was down by 12.1 percent, while arson dropped by 14.5 percent, which constituted the sharpest decline on the graph. The only violent offense in any region which went up was motor vehicle theft by 0.3 percent in the Midwest.

Table 4 on the report provided information on each state and each city in America.

Richard Rosenfeld, a top criminologist at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, shared with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that the crackdown on illegal drugs was a big reason for why crime has been dropping since the 1990s. Although the drug trade has not been eliminated, increased police presence has forced it off the streets and behind closed doors, he claimed.

Newer drugs have also replaced the crack cocaine trade, which has been blamed for street shootings around the country. New York City was given as a prime example, since homicides were down from more than 2,000 a year in its worst period (1990) to only 500 in the last report.

The crime rate today is similar to that of the 1960s, if population adjustment is taken into account, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

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