Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Murder rates in the United States increased drastically during the first six months of the year while other violent crimes such rape and robbery offenses dropped, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a recently released report.
Published Tuesday, the FBI preliminary report on crime between January and June of this year found that murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses increased by nearly 15% during the timeframe compared to six months prior while rape decreased nearly 19% and robbery offenses fell 7.1%.
The report said violent crime decreased in three of the nation's four regions with the South being the only area to see an increase at 2.5% while the Northeast experienced a decrease of 4.8%, the Midwest saw a 1.8% decrease and the West experienced a drop of 1.1%.
Concerning property crimes, the report, which is based on data from 12,206 law enforcement agencies, said overall offenses dropped nearly 8% with larceny thefts down nearly 10%, burglaries down 7.8% and motor thefts on a decline of 6.2%.
"Law enforcement agencies in cities with a population under 10,000 inhabitants reported the largest decrease, 14.2%," a summary of the report said. "Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,9990 reported the smallest decrease, 3.7%"
Meanwhile, Arson offenses jumped more than 19% in the first six months of the year with all four regions of the nation reporting increases, the highest increase being in the West, which saw its arson incidents climb by 28%, the report said.
The FBI did not provide insight into what is behind the statistics and cautions against using it to rank cities, counties and regions based on its data.