WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Murders across the United States increased by more than 2 percent from January through June while the overall crime rate continued its downward trend, says the FBI. The federal law enforcement agency said the largest jump in murders, totaling 13 percent, occurred in cities with fewer than 10,000 people. The number of murders went up by 2.3 percent in metropolitan areas. Murders increased in all regions of the nation, rising 4.9 percent in the Midwest, 2.2 percent in the South, 1.9 percent in the Northeast and 0.2 percent in the West.
The other violent crime category that showed an increase in the first half of the year was robbery, which rose by 0.6 percent. For the remaining two categories of violent crimes, rapes decreased by 4.7 percent and aggravated assault declined 0.7 percent. For property crimes, the FBI said larceny-theft offenses decreased by 3.5 percent, motor vehicle theft dropped by 2.1 percent and burglaries fell by 1.1 percent. Reported arson offenses went down by 5.6 percent.