FBI Crime Report 2015: Murders Rose by 11 Percent, Property Crimes Declined Marginally From Previous Year

Crime scene
(Photo : Tony Webster/Flickr/CC) The latest annual report released by FBI shows that violent crime increased by 3.9 percent in 2015 from the previous year.

Violent crimes in America increased by nearly 4 percent in 2015 from the previous year after years of decline since 2006, according to a new report released by FBI on Monday.

The report includes comparative data on crime in the US from the years 1996 till 2015.

The study showed that the 2015 violent crime level, even though 4 percent higher than last year, was 0.7 percent below 2011 level and as much as 16.5 percent below the 2006 level.

Of all the violent crimes recorded, aggravated assault accounted for 63.8 percent, robbery for 27.3 percent, rape (legacy definition) for 7.5 percent, and murder for 1.3 percent of the cases, according to another FBI press release.

The trend of property crimes was more or less on the same trajectory as violent crimes over the long-term, but decreased 2.6 percent in 2015 from 2014.

Property crime rate was about 20.2 percent lower in 2015 than in 2006 and appears to run parallel to violent crime rate, when gauged over long periods of time.

A majority of the property crimes related to larceny-theft (71.4 percent), followed by burglary (19.8 percent), and motor vehicle theft (8.9 percent).

An unsettling trend reported in the study related to murders, which increased by 10.8 percent from the previous year.

“It’s too early to call this an end to the crime drop, but we are facing a one-year rise in murders that is quite substantial — the largest in about half a century,” Richard Rosenfeld, criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told The New York Times.

The study revealed that firearms were used in 71.5 percent of the murders and non-negligent manslaughter, and 40.8 percent of the times in robberies.

“The report shows that there was an overall increase in violent crime last year, making clear what each of us already knows: that we still have so much work to do. But the report also reminds us of the progress that we are making. It shows that in many communities, crime has remained stable or even decreased from the historic lows reported in 2014. And it is important to remember that while crime did increase overall last year, 2015 still represented the third-lowest year for violent crime in the past two decades,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch noted while speaking at Fourth Annual Violence Reduction Network Summit.

“Of course, that does not mean we can be complacent. The residents of communities where violence remains a fact of daily life care little whether overall crime rates are up and down. And in the raft of data and analysis that can so often define our work, we must never forget that all of our numbers reflect the lives of real people. Violent crime tears at the fabric of our common life – and so any increase in violent crime is of the deepest concern to me as Attorney General and to the entire Department of Justice,” she said.

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