For the second year in row, the number of violent crimes declined across the country — a total of 2.5 percent during 2008 compared to the previous year — according to the FBI's just-released Preliminay Annual Uniform Crime Report.
Some highlights from this report:
- All four of the violent crime offense categories declined nationwide: murder and non negligent manslaughter (down 4.4 percent), aggravated assault (down 3.2 percent), forcible rape (down 2.2 percent) and robbery (down 1.1 percent).
- While violent crimes like murder, forcible rape, and robberies in cities with one million or more residents decreased, cities with less than 10,000 residents reported increases in those same categories (murder up 5.5 percent, forcible rape up 1.4 percent, robbery up 3.9 percent).
- Nationwide, burglaries were the only property crime to show an increase (up 1.3 percent), while thefts decreased (down 0.6 percent) as did motor vehicle thefts (down a significant 13.1 percent).
- Arson offenses, tracked separately from other property crimes, declined in all four regions of the country—Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. The largest decrease was in the West (down 5.9 percent).