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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

September 13, 2010 at 9:37 AM

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FBI: Violent and property crimes decreased in 2009

Posted by John de Leon

The number of violent crimes in the U.S.declined for the third consecutive year in 2009, according to statistics released Monday by the FBI. Property crimes also declined in 2009, the seventh consecutive year these offenses dropped below the previous year's total.

The 2009 statistics show that the estimated volumes of violent and property crimes declined 5.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, when compared with the 2008, according to a news release by the FBI. The violent crime rate for the year was 429.4 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants (a 6.1 percent decrease from the 2008 rate), and the property crime rate was 3,036.1 per 100,000 persons (a 5.5 percent decrease from the 2008 figure).

Nationwide, there were an estimated 1,318,398 violent crimes reported in 2009. Each of the four violent crime offenses decreased when compared with the 2008 estimates. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter and robbery had the largest decreases: 7.3 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively. In addition, aggravated assault decreased 4.2 percent, and forcible rape declined 2.6 percent.

An estimated 9,320,971 property crimes were reported in the U.S. in 2009. Each of the property crime offenses also decreased when compared with the 2008 estimates. The largest decline was for motor vehicle thefts: a 17.1 percent decrease from the 2008 figure. The estimated number of larceny-thefts declined 4.0 percent, and the estimated number of burglaries decreased 1.3 percent.

The FBI compiles the information from law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S.

To view the entire FBI report, click here.

To see a chart that shows 2009 crime rates for cities in Washington state, click here. To compare them with crime statistics from 2008, click here.

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