Violent crime fell in the United States last year after rising for two consecutive years and leading to a revival of tough-on-crime policies by the Trump Administration, the FBI reported Monday.

In its annual crime report, the FBI said there were an estimated 383 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2017, a decline of about one percent compared with 2016 levels. The murder rate slipped to 5.3 murders per 100,000 residents from 5.4 murders per 100,000 residents the previous year.

The state of Louisiana recorded the highest murder rate for the 29th straight year, with 12.4 murders per 100,000 residents. Among major cities, St. Louis had the highest murder rate, recording 66.1 murders per 100,000 residents.

The decline in violent crime appears to have continued into 2018, with preliminary data showing overall violent crime down nearly five percent and murder down more than six percent.

FILE - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gestures during a news conference
FILE – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gestures during a news conference at the Moakley Federal Building in Boston, July 26, 2018.

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions credited Trump administration policies with the lowering of the violent crime and murder rates.

“That is the kind of results you get when you support law enforcement,” Sessions said.

But criminologists said there were likely as many reasons for the decline in the violent crime rate last year as there were for its rise in 2015 and 2016.

Louisiana-based crime analyst Jeff Asher said, “[Just] as I am skeptical that there was just one cause of the murder spike in 2015 and 2016, I am skeptical of any argument that improved enforcement of the law and support for law enforcement are primarily responsible for a slight decline in 2017.”

“Smarter policing at the local level may be one factor contributing to what appears to be a national decline, though I am not sure there is any evidence that increased prosecution at the federal level played a role,” Asher said.

Source: VOA news

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