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In brief: FBI reports drop in crime levels

Tue., May 24, 2011

WASHINGTON – Crime levels fell last year compared to 2009, continuing a downward trend that saw a 5.5 percent drop in the number of violent crimes last year and a 2.8 percent drop in the number of property crimes.

Preliminary figures released by the FBI Monday also showed that there were declines in all four categories of violent crime in 2010 and all categories for property crime went down as well.

“In a word, remarkable,” said James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University. In Fox’s view, the declines signify success for aggressive law enforcement and corrections programs and comprehensive crime prevention efforts. Violent crime last increased in 2005. Property crime last increased in 2002.

The FBI reported that violent crime fell in all four regions of the country last year – 7.5 percent in the South, 5.9 in the Midwest, 5.8 percent in the West and 0.4 percent in the Northeast.

Nationally, murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 4.4 percent, forcible rape decreased 4.2 percent, robbery declined 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault was down 3.6 percent.

The downward trend for murder and non-negligent manslaughter was especially pronounced in the nation’s smallest cities, where it went down 25.2 percent for cities under 10,000 people. Murder actually rose 3 percent in cities with populations of 250,000 to half a million.

For Spokane, the preliminary statistics show no change between 2009 and 2010 in the violent crime rate and a modest increase in property crimes, such as burglary and theft.

Sources say DNA matches suspect

NEW YORK – New tests have found that the DNA of the former International Monetary Fund leader matches material found on the shirt of a hotel maid who says he attacked her.

Two people familiar with the investigation tell the Associated Press that the tests were returned Monday afternoon. The people weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The people say DNA found on the maid’s shirt match to a sample of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s DNA.

Strauss-Kahn attorney Benjamin Brafman declined to comment Monday.


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