Crime Declines

FBI reports a decrease in both violent and property crime in 2009

Crime Declines

According to preliminary numbers released this week by the FBI, violent crime in the U.S. dropped more than 4% during the first six months of 2009.

The preliminary half-year uniform crime report also reflects a 6% decline in property crime, including burglary and auto theft. A 10% drop in murder led the decrease in violent crime, while a whopping 18.7% decline in motor vehicle theft led the drop in property crime.

The newest crime report does not contain information from Austin Police because the department does not submit numbers for the interim report, said spokesman Cpl. Scott Perry. APD wants to make sure its crime reporting is as accurate as possible, Perry told us in an email, and as such only submits a year-end report "when we know that the data is finalized and accurate."

Meanwhile, federal prosecutions rose 9% in 2009, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The number of federal prosecutions this year (a total of 169,612 cases) reached an all-time high, up 42% from five years ago, and increasing nearly 90% since 1999. A 15.7% increase in immigration cases led this year's increase, with charges of illegal entry and re-entry to the U.S. making up the vast majority of the cases, TRAC reports. Interestingly, the number of non-immigration crimes has actually dropped over the last five years. Currently, drug crimes, for example, make up just 16% of all prosecuted federal crimes.

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