Violent Crime Fell Sharply Again in 1999 - FBI : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Violent Crime Fell Sharply Again in 1999 -FBI By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Violent crime in the United States went down sharply in 1999 for an unprecedented eighth year in a row, providing new evidence of a dramatic improvement in the nation's long-term crime trends, the FBI said on Sunday.

In its twice-yearly crime report, the federal law enforcement agency said preliminary figures for all four types of violent crime -- murder, rape, assault and robbery -- showed similar reductions in 1999 from 1998 totals.

The number of both violent crimes and property crimes -- like car theft and burglary -- reported to the police nationwide decreased by 7 percent last year, the FBI said.

The statistics extended the downward spiral in crime after years of soaring rates during the 1980s.

President Clinton welcomed the latest drop, saying it ''continued the longest decline on record.''

He said the figures confirmed his anti-crime strategy of more police officers on the street and fewer illegal guns was ''having a powerful impact.'' But he said more needs to be done to reduce gun violence, and urged Congress to approve gun safety measures.

The report did not give any reasons for the lower crime numbers. But experts have cited not only tough new law enforcement policies, but also underlying social, demographic and economic forces as factors.

The decreases have coincided with the aging of the huge baby-boom generation past their prime years for committing crime and with the continued strong economic expansion.

The experts also have mentioned better policing strategies, new anti-violence programs in communities to help youths and tougher sentences that have resulted in a record U.S. prison population.

``Our streets and communities are safer than they have been for 30 years,'' Attorney General Janet Reno said in a statement. ''Now is not the time, however, to become complacent. We must seize the opportunity and redouble our efforts by providing alternatives to crime as well as tough enforcement.''

The FBI said murders and robberies dropped by 8 percent in 1999 while rapes and aggravated assaults fell by 7 percent.

In the property crime category, burglary figures posted the greatest decrease at 11 percent, followed by motor vehicle theft at 8 percent, larceny-theft at 6 percent and arson at 5 percent.

Law enforcement agencies in all regions of the country reported lower figures for murder and for their crime totals.

The FBI said crime went down by 10 percent in the West, by 8 percent in the Midwest, by 7 percent in the Northeast and by 4 percent in the South.

While cities nationwide reported declines in serious crimes, the biggest cities showed the smallest decrease, at 6 percent. Suburban counties registered an 8 percent decline while rural areas had a 7 percent decrease.

The figures were based on data submitted by more than 17,000 city, county and state police agencies, the FBI said.

-- Ken Decker (, May 07, 2000


Oh yeah, Ken, Thanks to Bill, we should be down to no crime by the time he leaves office, roflmao!

These stats bear looking at to see what's missing, crime in my city is as popular as ever....

-- FactFinder (, May 07, 2000.

Oh, I'm so relieved. Now we can cancel all those new gun control laws Algore was blathering about.

-- helen (, May 07, 2000.

It is notable that this is the first time the jobless rate has fallen below 4% since January 1970 (although revisions in the BLS methodology in the mid-1990s make historical comparisons less reliable as they tended to increase the official unemployment rate by at least 0.2% over measures using the previous methods). Both the household and payroll surveys show that strong job growth continues and low jobless rates are seen in all age groups and other BLS classifications.

This report does not show signs of oversized wage gains, however, as the average hourly earnings estimate for April is less than 2% above the 1999 average. Unfortunately, the wage data is an inadequate reflection of actual compensation growth, as companies are opting more for bonuses and stock options in place of wage increases and more workers are now eligible to receive such forms of compensation, and it does not cover all types of jobs in the economy.

Most important, the increase in private payroll employment has averaged over 220,000 in the first four months of the year (on a seasonally adjusted basis), compared to increases of roughly 190,000 per month in 1999. Without a doubt, the current pace cannot be sustained through the remainder of 2000.

-- A unprecedented (nine@year.expansion), May 08, 2000.

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