Reports of both violent and property crimes in the U.S. declined in 2007 from the previous year, the FBI said today. In a preliminary report, the bureau said the number of violent crimes declined by 1.4 percent from 2006, reversing two years of rising violent crime numbers. Property crimes were down 2.1 percent last year from the previous year. The largest declines were in vehicle theft, down 8.9 percent and in rape, down 4.3 percent and murder, down 2.7 percent, the Associated Press reports.
Murders were down in cities of more than 250,000, including a sharp 9.8 percent drop in cities of more than a million residents. Murders were up 3.7 percent in cities of 50,000 to 100,000, up 1.9 percent in cities of 100,000 to 250,000, and up 1.8 percent in cities under 10,000. Historically, murder trends began in the largest cities and moved over several years to smaller ones.