Reported violent crime in all categories increased in the first six months of last year compared with 2014, the FBI said today. There were 6.2 percent more murders reported, 1.1 percent more rapes, 2.3 percent more aggravated assaults and .3 percent more robberies. Although the report covers only half of the year, it may settle for now the debate over whether crime is rising or falling in the U.S. Media reports surveying a selection of cities had offered a mixed picture, and commentators have disagreed over whether a “Ferguson effect” has emboldened criminals in some areas.
Violent crime reports increased in all but two city groupings by population. It was down .3 percent in cities with populations between 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants and down .1 percent in cities with populations of 500,000 to 999,999. Violent crime reports increases in all regions but the Northeast, where they were down 3.2 percent. Among property crimes, reported burglaries dropped 9.8 percent and larceny-theft reports were down 3.2 percent in the first six months of 2015. Motor vehicle theft reports increased 1 percent. The FBI compilation includes only crimes reported to police agencies; the Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey, released separately, includes estimates of unreported crimes.