Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The overall crime rate fell in 2017, according to the latest FBI crime statistics released Monday.
Violent crime fell by 0.9 percent compared to 2016, with 392.9 offenses per 100,000 residents, according to the report. And property crime decreased by 3.6 percent, with 2,362.2 offenses per 100,000 residents.
"While we have made progress, violent crime and drug trafficking continue to plague our communities and destroy the lives of innocent, law-abiding Americans," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. "Under the Trump administration, the Department of Justice has restored common sense criminal charging and sentencing policies, surged resources to jurisdictions facing some of the highest levels of violence and drug abuse, targeted enforcement efforts against the most violent offenders, and developed innovative approaches to address pervasive crime problems."
Although the overall violent crime rate fell in 2017, the number of rapes increased by 2.2 percent. The fall in the violent crime rate is mostly attributed to a 0.3 percent drop in aggravated assault and a 4.7 decrease in the robbery rate, as well as a 0.7 percent decline in murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses.
In cities with populations of more than 1 million people, the murder rate declined by 7.6 percent, according to an analysis of the data by New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice.
Some cities saw significant declines in the murder rate, including San Francisco (-35 percent), Chicago (-23.2 percent) and Baltimore (-20.9 percent).
However, other cities saw significant increases, including Washington, D.C. (34.9 percent) and Austin, Texas (30 percent).
Phoenix (18.7 percent) and Houston (10.3 percent) also saw murder rate increases.
The FBI's 2017 data shows a downturn in violent crime that ended a steady increase between 2014 and 2016.
Going by 5 and 10-year trends, however, the 2017 violent crime rate was 6.8 percent higher than in 2013, but 10.6 percent below the 2008 level.