Record crime drop hits bottom in 2000


Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Reports of rape and aggravated assault increased in the first half of this year as the nation’s longest-running decline in overall crime came to a virtual halt, the FBI said Monday.

"The 1990s crime drop has ended with the 1990s," said professor James Alan Fox of Northeastern University in Boston.

The bureau’s preliminary figures indicate serious crimes — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft and arson — were down 0.3 percent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period of 1999, which saw a drop of 9.5 percent over the year before.

The number of crimes reported to police has fallen every year since 1992, a trend that has lasted almost three times longer than the second-longest decline, the three years from 1982 through 1984. But this year’s decrease is the smallest.

"This is the criminal-justice limbo stick; we just can’t go any lower," Fox said. "We’ve had eight straight, wonderful years of declining crime rates, and at a certain point you just can’t push those numbers further down, and we’ve hit that point."

While both violent and property-related crimes declined overall by 0.3 percent, the picture was mixed for specific offenses.

The FBI report indicated murder declined 1.8 percent and robbery fell 2.6 percent, but both rape and aggravated assault went up 0.7 percent in the first half of 2000. For the same period in 1999, rapes fell 8.4 percent and assaults went down 7.1 percent.

Regionally, the West had the largest increase in rapes with a 3.4 percent rise, followed by the Northeast (up 2.1 percent) and the Midwest (up 0.6 percent). Reports of rape in the South declined 1.9 percent.

Among property crimes, burglary fell 2.4 percent, but auto theft rose 1.2 percent and larceny-theft increased 0.1 percent. Arson, which is included in the overall serious crime figures but not the property crime totals, was down 2.7 percent.

Crime was down in cities with populations over 250,000, but rose or leveled off in smaller cities. Crime also rose in the suburbs and was up 3 percent in rural communities, which also saw a 7.1 percent increase in murders.

"We can’t bring crime levels down to zero. Criminal activity is unfortunately something that’s part of human behavior," he said. "Regardless of what we do, we will still have rape, murder, robbery."

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read