DOJ, FBI Release 2016 Crime Stats

Chicago Police officers and community members gather in a prayer during a rally supporting efforts to stop violence in Chicago in July 2017

Chicago Police officers and community members gather in a prayer during a rally supporting efforts to stop violence in Chicago in July 2017

According to a release, overall violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, human trafficking, aggravated assault) jumped by 4.1 percent nationwide past year.

The Trump administration immediately seized on the figures as proof that the nation is in the midst of a risky crime wave that warrants a return to tougher tactics like more arrests and harsher punishments for drug criminals.

The same can not be said of crimes like rape and robbery. The rate of violent crimes committed per 100,000 residents has declined from 611 in 1997 to 386.3 today. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 8.6 percent when compared with estimates from 2015.

New Jersey's overall violent crime rate has dropped more than 4% percent past year. In New Haven, violent crime fell 12% between 2014 and 2016.

Cases of rape were up 3.5 percent, robbery increased 1 percent and aggravated assault rose 5 percent.

The increases in violent crime were seen across much of the country, with cities large and small reporting rises.

Last year, the number of murders in Chicago jumped to 765 from 478 the year before, accounting for 22 percent of the overall increase in US homicides. She and others assume the increase is a result of more victims coming forward to report being raped to police - "and that's a good thing", Stone said.

Some large cities like NY did not see large increases in violent crime.

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But it's not all good news, violent crime is up. "And we must do it together".

Property crime - burglaries, thefts and boosted cars - declined 1.3 percent across the country past year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, the 14th consecutive drop.

Powerful crime gained an unprecedented high in United States for a second consecutive year in 2016 persisting factually low levels propelled upward partly by an uptick in murders pertaining to some major cities. The number of reported homicides has tended to fluctuate from year to year over the last decade.

In California, 1,930 people were slain last year, an increase of 3.7 percent that came on the heels of a rise of 9.7 percent the previous year.

Some have found cause for consolation this year because Chicago did not reach its 500th murder mark until early September, two weeks later than in 2016. Cities including Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis reported fewer homicides past year as well.

The FBI data included no information from the cities of Blue Lake and Trinidad, which contract with Humboldt County Sheriff's Office for police services. Property crimes like burglary and vandalism decreased for the 14th year in a row, dropping 1.3 percent, according to the data. In fact, from 2015 to 2016, murders and violent crimes in Albuquerque are up significantly compared to the rest of the nation.

The FBI's uniform crime report uses data collected annually from more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country.

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