Insurers may appreciate the fact that, across the nation, there was a 6.2% decrease in the number of violent crimes and a 2.8% decline in the number of property crimes from January to June 2010.

Although the number of claims related to these figures is yet unknown, preliminary figures released last week by the FBI indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the United States reported a decrease of 6.2% in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first six months of 2010 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2009. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

The number of property crimes in the United States from January to June of 2010 decreased 2.8% when compared with data from the same time period in 2009. Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Arson is also a property crime, but data for arson are not included in property crime totals.

The FBI's Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report is based on information from more than 12,000 law enforcement agencies that voluntarily submitted three to six comparable months of data to the FBI during the first six months of both 2009 and 2010.

From January to June 2010, violent crimes comprising all four categories declined nationwide when compared with data for the same time period in 2009. Robbery fell 10.7%, murder was down 7.1%, forcible rape declined 6.2%, and aggravated assault decreased 3.9%.

Violent crime declined in all regions, with the largest decrease (7.8%) noted in the South, 7.2% in both the Midwest and the West, and 0.2% in the Northeast. The only region that registered an increase in murders was the Northeast, at 5.7%. Murder declined in the other three regions—12.0% in the South, 7.1% in the West, and 6.3% in the Midwest.

Across the nation, property crime was down 2.8% for the first six months of 2010 compared with data for the same months of 2009. Motor vehicle theft decreased 9.7%, larceny-theft was down 2.3%, and burglary fell 1.4%.

The South registered a decline in property crime of 3.6%, while the West noted a 3.1% decline, and the Midwest experienced a 2.5% drop. In the Northeast, property crime was down 0.2%.

The FBI tracks arson offenses separately; and notes that across the nation, arson dropped 14.6%. In metropolitan counties, arson was down by 21.6% and in nonmetropolitan counties by 19.4%. All four regions of the country reported less arson, including declines of 17.6% in the West, 14.3% in the South, 12.6% in the Midwest, and 10.2% in the Northeast.

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