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Violent crime, murder down slightly in 2017, FBI says

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(WASHINGTON) — New crime data released by the FBI show violent crime went down in 2017, bucking a two-year upward trend.

Overall, there were nearly 300,000 fewer violent crimes in 2017 than the year before, a drop of 0.2 percent, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Murders were down 1.4 percent to 17,284 nationally along with a 4 percent decrease in robberies to 319,356 in the same period, according to the FBI, which defines violent crime as offenses that “involve force or threat.”

Property crime fell by 3 percent in 2017 to about 7.7 million, the FBI reported.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, an organization of police executives, told ABC News he is “encouraged” by the numbers.

In a speech this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised the report, saying the decreases are something all should “celebrate.”

“Those are the kind of results you get when you support law enforcement,” he said. “Those are the kind of results we get when we work together.”

The attorney general also touted President Trump’s policies as contributing to the decrease in violent crime.

Chicago, which routinely draws criticism from the president because of the violence that plagues the city, saw murders drop to 653 in 2017 from 765 the year before, and violent crime in the city was down as well.

Another crime-plagued city is Baltimore, Maryland, which saw murders go up in 2017, as well as an increase in violent crime.

Some cities that have had high murder rates in the past offer a mixed bag when it comes to recent violent crime and murders.

Memphis, Tennessee, paints that picture. While overall murders were down in the city, violent crime increased last year.

Austin, Texas, which is smaller than Memphis, saw murders in the city decline to 25 from 39 in 2016.

Los Angeles, one of the largest cities in the United States, saw violent crime increase by more than 2,000 incidents to 30,507 in 2017 from 28,817. Murders in the city decreased, however, to 281 from 293 in 2016.

New York City saw violent crime incidents decrease to 46,433 from 49,124 and murders decreased by over 40.

Washington, D.C., also saw violent crime decrease by more than a thousand and murders decreased by 20 from year to year.

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