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Violent Crime Down Fifth Year, FBI Says

There was a 4 percent drop in the number of violent crimes reported in the U.S. last year vs. 2010, the FBI reports. It's the fifth straight year of declines, according to FBI records.

In its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, the FBI says that data collected from 14,009 law enforcement agencies indicate that:

-- "In 2011, all four of the violent crime offense categories — murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — declined nationwide when compared with data from 2010. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter declined 1.9 percent, while forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault each declined 4.0 percent."

-- There was also a 0.8 percent drop in property crimes.

-- "Arson offenses, which are not included in property crime totals, decreased 5.0 percent nationwide. Arsons declined in all four regions in 2011, with the Northeast experiencing the largest decrease (12.3 percent)."

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