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Preliminary data suggests crime down

Preliminary 2009 data from the Uniform Crime Reports suggests that crime is down significantly from 2008. Across the country:

  • Violent crime generally is down 4.4%;
  • Murder is down 10%;
  • Forcible rape is down 3.3%;
  • Robbery is down 6.5%
  • Aggravated assault is down 3.2%;
  • Property crime generally is down 6.1%;
  • Burglary is down 2.5%;
  • Theft is down 5.3%;
  • Motor vehicle theft is down 18.7%;
  • Arson is down 8.2%.

Notably, most of the crime drop is occurring in cities with populations of over 1 million (murder down 13.4% and motor vehicle theft down 21.9% in these cities).

Perhaps of greatest interest to those who study the relationship between crime and incarceration, these crime drops are happening during a time when we may be seeing the first prison population declines in decades.

The FBI, which publishes the Uniform Crime Reports, is careful to note that the data are preliminary.

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