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New FBI Data Shows Crime Dropping; Some Top 10 Dangerous Defy Trend

New FBI Data Shows Crime Dropping; Some Top 10 Dangerous Defy Trend

| On February 18, 2014

Violent crime across the United States continues its downward trend, according to data released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Nationally, violent crime in the first six months of 2013 decreased by 5.4 percent. But the results were decidedly mixed for Law Street’s Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Over 200,000, with only half of those cities showing a decrease in crime.

A notable highlight of today’s FBI data came in St. Louis, Law Street’s number three Most Dangerous City over 200,000, where violent crime declined more than 20 percent. The decrease was all the more notable because a change in how rape is reported  resulted in a large increase for St. Louis in that category. More broadly, the reporting of rape increased in many cities due to the FBI’s new, expanded definition of forcible rape. Stockton, Calif., Law Street’s number five Most Dangerous City over 200,000, also was a standout, with violent crime in the city declining by nearly 21 percent.

The FBI’s semiannual report covers January to June 2013 — the most recent period for which comprehensive crime statistics are available. Law Street’s analysis of this preliminary data for each of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Over 200,000 appears below as an update to our original rankings published last Fall. Changes in these preliminary statistics, included below, compared with the same time period in the previous year provide key information on emerging trends in these important cities ahead of the full-year coverage of rankings that will be available this Fall. Click here for developing Crime in America 2014 coverage.

1. Detroit, Mich.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
The city of Detroit experienced an overall decrease in violent crime of 4.5 percent in for the first six months of 2013 compared to the first six months of 2012. Although Motor City saw a slight increase in robbery, aggravated assault and murder both declined by 12.22 percent and 8.48 percent, respectively. It is important to note that while the city technically reported an increase of 46.48 percent in rape, it is one of the many localities using the new, expanded FBI definition of forcible rape, and therefore the year-over-year data is not comparable.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -4.50%
Murder: -8.48%
Rape: +46.48%*
Robbery: +8.07%
Aggravated Assault: -12.22%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF DETROIT’S 2012 RANKING

2. Oakland, Calif.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Oakland experienced a ten percent increase in overall violent crime during the first six months of 2013 over the same period in 2012. Although murder, rape, and aggravated assault all dropped measurably, the city had 592 more instances of robbery during this period — an increase of 30.37 percent. Important to note, however, is that Oakland’s reported rapes dropped by approximately one third in the first six months of 2013.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: +10.86%
Murder: -15.09%
Rape: -34.07%
Robbery: +30.37%
Aggravated Assault: -8.69%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF OAKLAND’S 2012 RANKING

3. St. Louis, Mo.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
St. Louis provides an interesting case study for the first six months of 2013. Despite a sixty percent increase in reported rapes over the same period in 2012 (associated with the FBI’s expanded definition of forcible rape), violent crime in the city decreased by more than 20 percent. This significant change is due in large part to St. Louis’ major declines in murder, robbery, and aggravated assault.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -20.11%
Murder: -15.52%
Rape: +60.40%*
Robbery: -22.46%
Aggravated Assault: -23.29%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF ST. LOUIS’ 2012 RANKING

4.  Memphis, Tenn.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Overall, violent crime in Memphis remains generally constant, with a modest decline of 4.38 percent during the period of January to June 2013. The city’s reports of robbery, aggravated assault, and rape (the figure for which is not comparable to 2012 figures due to the FBI’s new, expanded definition of forcible rape) all decreased by five percent or less; however, murder in Memphis increased by 7.14 percent.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -4.38%
Murder: +7.14%
Rape: -5.14%*
Robbery: -3.95%
Aggravated Assault: -4.68%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF MEMPHIS’ 2012 RANKING

5. Stockton, Calif.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Unlike Oakland, the city of Stockton, Calif. experienced a 20.99 percent decrease in overall violent crime during the first six months of 2013. Each relevant violent crime category reported a significant drop, most notably a 63.64 percent decrease in murder (from 33 during this period in 2012 to 12 in 2013), and a 28.23 percent decline in robbery.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -20.99%
Murder: -63.64%
Rape: -12.50%
Robbery: -28.23%
Aggravated Assault: -16.62%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF STOCKTON’S 2012 RANKING

6. Birmingham, Ala.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
According to the FBI, the city of Birmingham did not report preliminary 6-month figures in 2012; therefore we cannot indicate trends for this time period.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME REPORTS
Data below reflects reports for period January to June 2013.
Total Number of Violent Crimes: 1,468
Total Number of Murders: 39
Total Number of Rapes: 79
Total Number of Robberies: 455
Total Number of Aggravated Assaults: 895

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF BIRMINGHAM’S 2012 RANKING

7.  Baltimore, Md.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Baltimore’s violent crime rate remained fairly constant from January to June 2013 versus prior year, with a slight increase of 1.62 percent. With the addition of ten murders and 147 robberies for this time period, Charm City is slightly ahead of its prior year violent crime rate with 692.12 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: +1.62%
Murder: +9.52%
Rape: -2.61%
Robbery: +9.06%
Aggravated Assault: -3.53%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF BALTIMORE’S 2012 RANKING

8. Cleveland, Ohio

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Violent Crime is up in Cleveland for the first six months of 2013 versus the same time period in 2012. The reporting of rape is up 17.34 percent in accordance with the FBI’s new, expanded definition of forcible rape, as is robbery; however, murder and aggravated assault in the city was down significantly, with decreases of 27.78 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: +7.49%
Murder: -27.78%
Rape: +17.34%*
Robbery: +11.79%
Aggravated Assault: -23.00%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF CLEVELAND’S 2012 RANKING

9. Atlanta, Ga.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Atlanta carries its continuing decrease in violent rime into 2013 with a drop of 9.75 percent from January to June. The city experienced declines in three out of four violent crime categories, most notably a 21.27 percent drop in aggravated assaults (which made up nearly 60 percent of its overall violent crime in the entire year of 2012).

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -9.75%
Murder: -5.26%
Rape: -13.33%
Robbery: +11.23%
Aggravated Assault: -21.27%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF ATLANTA’S 2012 RANKING

10) Milwaukee, Wis.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Violent crime in Milwaukee increased slightly year over year during the period January to June 2013. A major point to note is that the FBI’s new, expanded definition of forcible rape significantly impacted the city’s rape statistics, as the category increased by over one hundred percent for this period. Robbery in the city increased by more than 16 percent; however, murder and aggravated assault both dropped.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: +5.27%
Murder: -8.11%
Rape: +101.90%*
Robbery: +16.37%
Aggravated Assault: -5.41%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF MILWAUKEE’S 2012 RANKING

Research and analysis by Law Street’s Crime in America Team: Chelsey Goff, Ashley Powell, and Kevin Rizzo.

Sources:

Violent crime, population, murder, and officer statistics are from the FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January – June 2013.

Click here to read more Crime in America coverage.

*The figure shown for the 2013 rape offense was reported using the new definition of rape and is not comparable to previous years’ historical forcible rape data.

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