Crime Drops Again in 1997
May 18, 1998
Preliminary figures for 1997 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicate serious crime fell across the nation for the sixth consecutive year.
- The overall rate of serious crime fell 4 percent last year -- with a 5 percent decline in violent crimes and a 9 percent decrease in murders and robberies.
- Aggravated assault was down 2 percent and rapes fell 1 percent.
- Property crimes declined by 4 percent -- led by an 8 percent drop in arson -- and car thefts dropped 5 percent.
- States in the northeast led the declines in virtually every category.
For some years, experts have been citing several trends to explain the improving numbers: the aging of the population, toughening of sentencing laws and the increasing number of criminals in prison. They are also now including as a factor the nation's healthy economy.
Source: John H. Cushman Jr., "Serious Crime in U.S. Fell in 1997 for a 6th Year," New York Times, May 18, 1998.
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