Violent crime rises in US: FBI

Agence France-Presse . Washington

Violent crime in the United States rose last year, the FBI said Monday.
The FBI said that in 2015 there were 1,197,704 violent crimes, an increase of 3.9 per cent compared with the previous year.
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased 10.8 per cent, and firearms were involved in two-thirds of those cases, the agency said.
The increase in the murder rate was due mainly to rises in seven major cities: Chicago, Baltimore, Houston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Washington.
On the very day the FBI report was released, a gunman in Houston wounded nine people near an apartment complex before being shot and killed by the police. Last Friday, a young male shooter killed five people in a department store in the state of Washington. Despite the uptick, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the statistics showed that the violent crime rate had fallen 15 per cent since Obama took office.
‘The president believes there’s more that we can and should do,’ he said. ‘And there’s no area where the president has been more outspoken than taking action on common-sense gun safety measures that would make it harder for criminals and others who shouldn’t have them to buy a gun.’
Although violent crime increased last year, overall the tendency over the past 20 years has been a decline. Crime levels these days in America are far below the peak years in the 1990s.
The FBI said it collects data on the violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The FBI said burglaries fell 7.8 per cent and larceny-thefts declined 1.8 per cent, but motor vehicle thefts increased by 3.1 per cent.
The release of the report comes as murder rates have risen in several US cities in 2015 and 2016, mainly Chicago, where authorities have reported more than 500 homicides since January. That is more than all of last year.
Experts say different factors come into play depending on the city, mainly drug trafficking, gang wars and the availability of guns.

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