US Violent Crime Sees First Hike in 6 Years

Years of declines bottom out
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2013 6:42 AM CDT
US Violent Crime Sees First Hike in 6 Years
Violent crime has climbed for the first time since 2006, FBI data show.   (Shutterstock)

For the first time since 2006, violent crime climbed in the US last year, preliminary FBI data show. Nationally, violent crime was up 1.2%. Urban areas led the increase, with cities of between 500,000 and 1 million people seeing a 3.7% jump in rates; murder rates in those cities were up 12.5%, the New York Times reports. In the biggest cities, however, the increase was less pronounced. Cities of 1 million or more saw violent crime increase 1.4%, with murders up 1.5% and rapes 3.2%. New York City, however, saw murders fall some 20%, bringing the number to 419—the fewest in half a century, the Times notes.

The 2012 increase comes after 2011 saw violent crime drop 3.8%. In 2006, it was up 1.9%—but before that, it hadn't increased in a decade. After years of decline, "we probably now have answered the question of how low it can go, and we may be bouncing off the bottom now," says a criminologist. But "we probably need another year to tell if we’ve got a pattern here." The increase may be a result of fewer police on the streets thanks to recession spending cuts, says another expert. (Read more violent crime stories.)

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