Murders, violent crimes dipped in 2017, FBI says

A man is taken into custody by FBI agents in Los Angeles in May 2017.

 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The number of murders and other violent crimes committed dipped slightly last year, according to new crime statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday.

The number of cases of manslaughter and murder decreased 0.7 percent in 2017 from the previous year, the data show. And though rapes rose 3 percent and aggravated assault rose 1 percent, overall violent crimes dropped 0.2 percent — numbers that suggest the rise of crime in recent years is ending.

"Crime declined nationwide last year, consistent with our earlier analyses of 2017 data in the nation’s 30 largest cities," Ames Grawert, senior counsel for the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York, said in a statement. "That’s the good news. The bad news is that even while crime is falling, the number of Americans incarcerated remains near-record highs. Now is the time to address the problem."

The Brennan Center has analyzed preliminary data from police departments in the largest 30 U.S. cities, and suggests that the overall murder and crime rates are projected to decline in 2018 — pushing the murder rate down to the 2015 rate and near the historic lows of the 1990s.

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