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FBI: Violent Crime Fell in First Half of 2017


FILE - A member of the FBI enters a crime scene beneath the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal, in New York, Dec. 11, 2017.

Violent crime in the United States fell in the first half of 2017, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by the FBI, but the number of homicides rose in the same period.

Property crimes declined by nearly three full percentage points over the same period.

For the first six months of 2017, overall violent crime decreased 0.8 percentage point compared with the same time period in 2016. In comparison, the nationwide violent crime rate increased by nearly 7 percent during 2015 and 2016.

Rates of violent crime in cities with more than a million residents fell by 3.3 percentage points. Property crime rates fell most in smaller cities with populations below 50,000.

Also during the first half of 2017, rapes decreased 2.4 percentage points; robberies decreased 2.2 percentage points; and aggravated assaults were down 0.1 percentage point. All three categories increased during the same period in 2016.

In an op-ed piece published by USA Today on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the statistics proved that President Donald Trump has kept a promise he made at his inauguration to end "This American carnage."

Overall crime rates are well below the historic highs reached in the early 1990s.

In 1991, about 5,850 crimes were committed per 100,000 Americans. In 2015, the overall crime rate stood at 2,857 per 100,000 residents.