Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Violent crime across the United States increased in 2016 for the second year in a row -- a climb of 4 percent, according to annual figures released Monday by the FBI.
The 2016 violent crime rate was 386 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants -- up from 373 in 2015, and the highest figure since 2012.
The FBI said last year there were 1,248,185 violent crimes -- which include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The report noted that those types of crimes increased across all population categories.
The 2016 rate, though, was still 18 percent lower than it was a decade ago -- and the murder rate was 6 percent lower.
"For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Monday. "The Department of Justice is committed to working with our state, local, and tribal partners across the country to deter violent crime, dismantle criminal organizations and gangs, stop the scourge of drug trafficking, and send a strong message to criminals that we will not surrender our communities to lawlessness and violence."
The Justice Department said the data report "reaffirms that the worrying violent crime increase that began in 2015 after many years of decline was not an isolated incident."
"The data debunk claims from the Trump Administration that crime is out of control, but do highlight cities where violence is concerning," Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center's Justice Program, said in a statement. "Chicago, for example, has had serious issues that need to be addressed. But by painting the entire country with too broad a brush, the President [Donald] Trump and Attorney General Sessions are peddling fear and distracting from the frank and honest conversations needed to find solutions to these real problems."
The largest year-to-year increase occurred in Chicago from 482 to 762. New York City, the country's largest, saw a slight decrease.
The FBI report is a statistical compilation of data reported by nearly 17,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies in the bureau's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
In its report, the FBI "cautioned against comparing crime data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment."