Violent, Property Crimes Are on Decline: Government Study

Article excerpt

Byline: James Kimberly

More good news from the crime front: A 25-year study of violent crime by the Justice Department found violent and property offenses are at their lowest points since 1973.

The downward trend in crime began in 1994 and has continued for each of the last three years, according to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

There were 3 million violent crimes committed in 1997, according to National Crime Victimization Survey the BJS conducts twice a year. The survey is conducted because many crimes are not reported to police. Indeed, the Uniform Crime Reports of the FBI show 1.6 million violent crimes committed in 1997.

The number of murders, rapes, robberies and assaults committed in 1997 is down by nearly 600,000 from the number of violent crimes reported in the survey in 1973. The figures are more impressive considering the nation's population jumped by nearly 70 million people during the last three decades.

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Dangerous duty: The weekend shooting of Batavia Police Officer Christopher Graver turned our attention to the risks police officers face every day.

Among the trends tracked by the Justice Department was the number of police officers killed in the line of duty during the last 25 years. …