Jeff Sessions' claim about violent crime contradicted by FBI data

Jeff Sessions was sworn in as attorney general Thursday morning, one day after he was confirmed by the Senate in a contentious vote.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks in the Oval Office CBS News

The 70-year-old is a former prosecutor and served the last 20 years as a senator from Alabama.

In the Oval Office, Sessions made a remark about crime that caught our attention.

“I wish the rise that we’re seeing in crime in America today were some sort of aberration or a blip. My best judgment, having been involved in criminal law enforcement for many years, is that this is a dangerous, permanent trend,” he said. 

CBS News looked at whether violent crime is a rising permanent trend. The CBS News research department went to the source: the FBI uniform crime report.


Turns out, violent crime peaked in 1991 and was in a steady decline until a small uptick in 2006. Then the trend continued to drop.

There was a small rise in 2015, the last year for which the FBI has numbers.

The rate in 2015 was half what it was in 1991.