The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation reports murders, rapes and other violent crimes declined sharply in the first six months of 2011. And that's a continuation of a trend over the past 4.5 years.
The federal law enforcement agency says its preliminary January-through-June figures show that the number of violent crimes dropped 6.4 percent from the previous year. This was led by a 5.7 percent drop in murders and a 5.1 percent decrease in rapes. Add to this, robberies declined by 7.7 percent while aggravated assaults fell 5.9 percent.
It is not the FBI's place to give the reasons for the big drop in crimes nationwide. But MSNBC/Reuters reports that the latest numbers provided further evidence that there has been no spike in crime despite tough economic conditions and high unemployment.
The FBI bases its report on information gathered from more than 12,500 police and other law enforcement agencies across the country.
Violent crimes went down by about the same amount in all four regions of the country and decreased in big cities, smaller cities and rural areas. Property crimes, like burglary, larceny, theft and motor vehicle theft, also dropped in the first half of the year, with burglaries down 2.2 percent, larceny and theft down 4.0 percent and stolen vehicles down 5.0 percent.
WKYT.Com reports that the four offenses in the violent crime category - murder and non-negligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault - decreased between the first half of 2010 and 2011.
Arson, as a separate category fell a steep 8.6 percent in the first six months of the year.
An interesting sidebar to this crime report is another one issues by the FBI in September about the war on drugs. It reported that in 2010, there was one drug arrest every 19 seconds In the U.S. Toke of the Town reports that figures show that there were more than 1.6 million drug arrests in 2010.
It indicates that drug use in the U.S., especially of marijuana, is on the rise not the decline. The September FBI report, shows that 81.9 percent of all drug arrests in 2010 were for possession only, and 45.8 percent of the drug arrests were for possession of marijuana.