These U.S. crimes fell the most in 2023, new FBI data shows

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(NEXSTAR) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its latest trove of data Tuesday, showing that crime numbers across nearly every category continued to fall in 2023.

Violent crime in 2023 had fallen 6% from 2022, with murders tumbling 13%, according to the latest FBI Quarterly Uniform Crime Report, which was based on data from 15,199 of 19,152 law enforcement agencies across the country.

“It suggests that when we get the final data in October, we will have seen likely the largest one-year decline in murder that has ever been recorded,” crime analyst Jeff Asher told NBC.

Under violent crimes, murder saw the biggest drop, followed by rape (12%). Robbery and aggravated assault both fell by 5%.

The greatest decline in nonviolent crime reports was for burglary, down 10% in total.

Not all types of crime diminished, however. A major outlier was motor vehicle theft, which rose collectively by 11%, with a jump of 38% in the Northeast, followed by 24% in the South and 2% in the Midwest. The west was the only region to see a decline (-4%). The FBI data show that the greatest spikes were reported by larger cities, with reports even declining in nonmetropolitan counties.

“In May 2021, the Justice Department launched our violent crime reduction strategy aimed at addressing the spike in violent crime that occurred during the pandemic,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “Since then, our prosecutors, agents, and grant-making experts have worked in close partnership with police departments and communities across the country to go after the recidivists and gangs that are responsible for the greatest violence; to seize illegal guns and deadly drugs; to make critical investments in hiring more law enforcement officers; and to fund evidence-based, community violence intervention initiatives.”

President Biden also celebrated the report Tuesday and took credit for the post-pandemic decline in reports of violent crime, which peaked in 2020.

“Across America, families want the same thing: the freedom to feel safe in their community. To know their kids are secure. My Administration is making it a reality,” Biden said in a statement, adding, “the prior administration oversaw the largest increase in murders ever recorded. My Administration got to work on day one to fix that.”

Despite the president’s victory lap, polls at the end of 2023 told a different story when it came to Americans’ perception of crime in the country.

A Gallup poll in mid-November found that 63% of Americans thought crime in the U.S. was either “extremely or very serious.” It was the highest percentage Gallup has measured for that question, and nine percent higher than in 2021.

Republicans were far more likely to say that crime was going up nationally, with 92% responding in the affirmative, compared to 51% of Democrats.

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