Saturday, September 23, 2006

FBI Violent Crime Report

Last night, I heard a distrubing news story on WREG in Memphis. Memphis was selected by the FBI as the second most violent city right now. After hearing that all big cities this year have experienced an increase in crime, this really put things in perspective. The report brings up feelings of sadness and fear for me. I hope that Memphians will look at it as a catalist for change. Here's a little piece from the FBI's press release about the overall national rise in crime:

The violent crime category includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault offenses. Nationally, preliminary data for 2005 showed increases in three of the four violent crimes from the previous year’s data. The number of murders and nonnegligent manslaughters rose 4.8 percent. Robbery offenses increased 4.5 percent, and the number of aggravated assaults was up 1.9 percent. Forcible rape was the only offense among the violent crimes that decreased in volume in 2005, down 1.9 percent from the 2004 figure.

A breakdown of the 2005 data by population group revealed that all city population groups experienced increases in violent crime when compared with those data reported for the previous year, with the exception of the Nation’s largest cities, 1 million and over in population, where the number of violent crimes was down 0.4 percent. By percent change in the number of violent crime offenses in 2005 compared with totals from 2004, cities with populations from 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants saw the greatest increase, 8.3 percent, and cities with populations of 10,000 to 24,999 saw the smallest increase, 0.5 percent. In the Nation’s metropolitan counties, violent crime was up 2.1 percent, and in nonmetropolitan counties, it increased 1.0 percent.

A further examination of violent crime data for the population groups showed that cities with populations from 100,000 to 249,999 had the greatest increase in the number of murders, up 12.5 percent. Cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants experienced the greatest increases in both robbery, 9.9 percent, and aggravated assault, 8.5 percent. The number of offenses of forcible rape decreased in all city population groups except in those cities with under 10,000 in population, where the number of forcible rape offenses was up 1.5 percent from the 2004 level.

The Nation’s four regions all saw increases in violent crime in 2005. The Midwest experienced the steepest increase, 5.7 percent. The West had a 1.9-percent increase from the previous year’s number; the South, a 1.8-percent rise; and the Northeast, a 1.4-percent increase. All four regions had increases in murder, robbery, and aggravated assault. Contrary to the other three violent crime offenses, the number of forcible rapes declined in each region.

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