The FBI released its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report on Monday, stating that violent crimes dropped by 2.5 percent nationwide, and non-violent property crimes saw a 1.6 percent decline last year. Overall, this is the second consecutive annual drop in the crimes reported.
The UCR compiles statistics on four violent crime categories (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) and four non-violent categories (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson), provided to the agency from participating police forces nationwide.
According to the FBI data, crime in seven of the eight categories rose in Jackson for 2008, as compared to 2007, bucking the national trend. In violent crimes, murders went from 46 to 63; robberies from 862 to 942; and aggravated assaults from 463 to 511. In the non-violent categories, burglaries rose from 12,465 to 13.035; larceny-theft from 6,984 to 6,990; car thefts from 1,584 to 1,711; and arson from 39 to 81.
Forcible rapes numbers saw the only drop year-over-year in the Capitol City, going from 141 in 2007 down to 136 in 2008.
Although many media outlets will use the FBI data to sensationally rank cities or states as "most dangerous" or identifying "murder capitals" the FBI explicitly warns against such rankings, calling them misleading.
are merely a quick choice made by the data user; they provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction," the agency states on its Variables Affecting Crime Web page. "Consequently, these rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.
So, the Ledger didn't include that last quote above, huh?