Violent crime dipped in first half of 2017 for first time in 2 years, FBI says

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Violent crime fell slightly during the first half of 2017, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, signaling a possible slowdown in a two-year, nationwide rise in violence.

Violent crimes, including aggravated assaults, rapes and murders, dropped 0.8% across the country in the first six months of last year, the FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report showed, after increasing in the two previous reports.

The decline was offset by a modest increase in murders nationwide. Homicides alone increased 1.5% when compared with a year earlier, according to the FBI. In 2016 and 2015, homicides rose 5.2% and 6.2%, respectively.

In the nation’s largest cities, however, homicides are falling. Eight of the 10 largest U.S. cities saw declines for all of 2017, according to police, while one saw an increase, and another didn’t have final data. New York and Los Angeles are at or near the lowest levels of deadly violence in their modern histories, each with less than 300 killings last year. Murders in Chicago were high, at 650, but down from 771 a year earlier.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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