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What the data says about crime in America

New York residents may be pleased to know that the crime rate in the United States has fallen dramatically in the last 25 years or so. According to an FBI survey of 18,000 jurisdictions, the number of serious crimes reported to police has dropped by half between 1993 and 2015. However, the FBI did report a 3 percent increase from 2014 to 2015, and another increase may be reported when 2016 data is released.

Property crime has decreased 48 percent in the period from 1993 to 2015 according to statistics from the FBI. Such crimes are thought to be more common than violent crimes, and they reportedly decreased from 2014 to 2015 despite the rise in violent crime. Overall, the crime rate tends to vary depending on location. For instance, there were 600 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Alaska and New Mexico.

However, there were less than 200 violent crimes per 100,000 people in New Hampshire in Maine. The data also shows that the murder rate in Chicago is less than that of St. Louis and Baltimore. Economic conditions and population density are thought to be among the reasons why the crime rate varies among cities and states. According to a survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, many crimes go unreported because victims aren't sure that police could help.

Those who are accused of violent crimes or any type of criminal offense may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may create defenses to the charges, such as arguing that a crime was committed in self-defense or under threat of bodily harm if the act wasn't carried out. If successful, it may result in a plea deal or acquittal, which may reduce or eliminate some or all penalties a defendant may face.

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