Monday, 29 October 2012 11:56
by Pete Yost, Associated Press
FBI: Crime reported to police fell last year
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of violent crimes reported to police decreased 3.8 percent last year to 1.2 million, the fifth straight year of declines, the FBI announced Monday.
Meanwhile, the total number of property crime reported to law enforcement agencies went down by 0.5 percent to 9 million, the ninth consecutive year that figure has fallen. Property crimes resulted in estimated losses of $156.6 billion.
The South accounted for 41.3 percent of violent crime, while the West had 22.9 percent of it. The Midwest claimed 19.5 percent of the cases and the Northeast, 16.2 percent.
In 2011, authorities solved nearly 64 percent of murders, over 40 percent of forcible rapes, nearly 29 percent of robberies and nearly 57 percent of aggravated assaults.
The FBI said firearms were used in two-thirds of the nation’s murders last year, and in two out of every five robberies and in one out of five aggravated assaults.
The FBI’s crime reporting program is one of two statistical measures of crime levels issued by the Justice Department. The FBI program captures crimes that are reported to police. Historically, less than half of all crimes, including violent crimes, are reported to police. The other measure, the national crime victimization survey, is designed to capture crime data whether it is reported to police or not. That survey is based on interviews of crime victims.
Two weeks ago, the victimization survey reported that violent crimes jumped 18 percent last year, the first rise in nearly 20 years, while property crimes rose for the first time in a decade. Academic experts say the new government data fall short of signaling a reversal of the longterm decline in crime.
The survey found that the increase in the number of violent crimes was the result of an upward swing in simple assaults, which rose 22 percent, from 4 million in 2010 to 5 million last year. The incidence of rape, sexual assault and robbery remained largely unchanged, as did serious violent crime involving weapons or injury.
The experts said the percentage increases last year were so large primarily because the 2011 crime totals were compared to historically low levels of crime in 2010. Violent crime has fallen by 65 percent since 1993, according to the victimization survey.
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OCT 31 The National Journal posts another story from its visit to NOLA, this one about the struggling Vietnamese shrimpers in the area. The publication has been looking at how the state is recovering from Katrina, nine years later.
OCT 31 The New York Times posts this look at Louisiana politics, and how national issues are forcing out the old-time local politicking. Of course they mention EWE, aptly described as an old-time politician known for "charming one half of the state and mortifying the other."
OCT 31 Here's an AP story on the ABC site about Louisiana's chicken little response to an international medical conference planned in NOLA this weekend. Organizers (who are actual physicians, as opposed to the hand-wringing state officials who issued the edicts) say the orders are "unfortunate" given that a main focus of the meeting was Ebola.
OCT 31 Given the things Bobby Jindal has said and done since he's been governor, it's a pretty safe bet he thinks we're a bunch of dummies. Apparently, he's sure President Obama is one, too. This story on Huff Post quotes Jindal as saying the president - a graduate of Harvard Law - should sue to get his money back. (What should a Brown biology grad who doesn't believe in evolution do?)
OCT 31 Us old folks are used to a two-party system, although most of us aren't sold on its success. But what if that system wasn't in place; what if politics reflected the true level of diversity among voters? That's what an LSU student is dreaming of in this editorial. He sees the two parties' control of our politics as limiting.
OCT 31 And you thought the Senate race was dirty. This post on the Forward Now blog tells the story of a Shreveport mayoral campaign worker who was paid to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" an opponent's campaign. Karma's a beeotch, though, because turns out the guy really liked the "enemy," and now he's supporting her. For real.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
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