The nation’s murder rate is lower now than at any point since the late 1960s, and other serious crime also is continuing to decline, the FBI reported Saturday.
For the fifth consecutive year, violent crime and property crime have dropped nationwide, including in most large cities, and in particular for murder. That offense declined 9 percent last year, with 19,645 people slain. The murder rate, now 7.4 incidences for every 100,000 people, is 17 percent lower than in 1992.
Overall, violent crime dropped 6 percent last year, according to the annual FBI report.
Many law enforcement officials and criminologists say the progress on crime is the result of several converging trends: Growing police crackdowns on minor crimes, tougher prison sentences and the aging of a large segment of the population. The Clinton administration, meanwhile, called the FBI report clear evidence that its anticrime policies, which include giving communities more money to hire police officers, are working.
“These numbers show that escalating crime is not an unsolvable problem,” Attorney General Janet Reno said. She also announced last week that the violent crime arrest rate among juveniles nationally decreased by 9 percent last year.
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