Violent crime dips to lowest level since 1978 |

Violent crime dips to lowest level since 1978

WASHINGTON — Violent crime including murders fell 4.4 percent in 2013, continuing a long-term downturn and marking the lowest number of violent crimes since the late 1970s, the FBI said on Monday.

The law enforcement agency’s annual Crime in the United States report showed property crimes also fell, by 4.1 percent, last year, the 11th yearly drop in a row, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The United States had an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes last year, the lowest number since 1978. They were down from about 1.22 million crimes in 2012, which marked a slight uptick from the previous year, FBI figures showed.

All types of violent crimes were lower, with murder and non-negligent manslaughter off 4.4 percent to 14,196, the lowest figure since 1968. Rape was down 6.3 percent and robbery fell 2.8 percent.

The violent crime rate last year was 367.9 for each 100,000 inhabitants, down 5.1 percent from 2012. The 2013 rate was about half that of 1994, the earliest year for readily accessible FBI data.

The United States had an estimated 8.63 million property crimes last year. Burglaries dropped 8.6 percent, larceny-thefts were down 2.7 percent, and motor vehicle thefts fell 3.3 percent, the report said.

Losses from property crimes excluding arson were calculated at $16.6 billion in 2013.

The FBI estimated that U.S. agencies made about 11.3 million arrests, excluding traffic violations, in 2013. The arrest rate for violent crime was 159.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the rate for property crime was 513.2.

A total of 18,415 law enforcement agencies contributed to the crime report last year.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press demanded assurances from the Justice Department that the FBI will never again impersonate a member of the news media, following revelations that an agent in Seattle portrayed himself as an AP journalist during a criminal investigation.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey, the president and CEO of the news cooperative, Gary Pruitt, also demanded to know who authorized the 2007 impersonation, what process was followed for its approval, how the requirements to impersonate the media are different from seven years ago and whether such operations are still being carried out.

“Most importantly, we want assurances that this won’t happen again,” Pruitt wrote.

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