FBI report: Crime statistics improve for first half of 2010

Reports of violent crime and property crime went down across the US, according to preliminary crime statistics from the Justice Department.

Reports of violent crime were down 6.2 percent and property-crime reports down 2.8 percent across the United States in the first six months of 2010, compared with the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary Justice Department data released on Monday.

The biggest drops in violent-crime reports were in the South (7.8 percent), the Midwest (7.2 percent), and the West (7.2 percent). The Northeast, on the other hand, recorded a 0.2 percent decrease in violent-crime reports.

The data for the Northeast show increases in reports of murder, rape, assault, and burglary, compared with the same period a year earlier.

The crime statistics are part of the Uniform Crime Report assembled each year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Since the 1930s, the FBI has collected data from law-enforcement agencies nationwide concerning the number of crimes reported to police or other agencies. These figures are compiled and used to calculate crime rates.

The data released on Monday represent preliminary findings for the first half of 2010. The complete 2010 report is expected to be released in the spring.

Nationwide, the six-month report shows reports of murder down 7.1 percent, rape reports down 6.2 percent, robbery reports down 10.7 percent, and aggravated-assault reports down 3.9 percent. The data indicate a similar downward trend in reports of property crimes – with theft down 2.3 percent, motor-vehicle theft down 9.7 percent, and arson down 14.6 percent.

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