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FBI: Rise in murder, violent crime in 2015, after historic lows

FBI: Murder rate up in U.S.

NEW YORK — Violent crimes in the United States increased 3.9 percent in 2015 from the year before, and cases of murder and non-negligent homicide rose 10.8 percent, according to new data released Monday by the FBI.

The uptick in violence came after years of decline; in 2014 violent crime and murder rates marked the lowest on record in the United States. 

The FBI notes in its report that violent crime in 2015 was slightly lower than in 2011, and 16.8 percent lower than in 2006. Although an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes were committed in 2015, the violent crime rate was at its third-lowest point since 1970, according to the FBI.  

The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report also showed that property crime decreased nationally for the 13th consecutive year, a total of 2.6 percent in 2015. 

Firearms were used in 71.5 percent of murders in 2015, according to report, and in 40.8 percent of robberies. 

Attorney General Loretta Lynch addressed the new statistics in a speech Monday in Little Rock.

Lynch said the numbers show that “we still have so much work to do,” but she noted that crime is stable or down in many communities. 

The rise in violent crime has largely come from increases in some major cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., according to preliminary research released by the FBI in January.  

“On the murder rate it’s clear that big spikes in a few cities are driving the numbers,” noted CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen. “Murder rates in other big cities are down.”

The report is based on data provided to the FBI voluntarily by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. About 90 percent of eligible departments submitted data for the report.