Crime reported to law enforcement rises

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of violent crimes and property crimes reported to police rose in the first half of last year compared with the same period in 2011, with violent crime rising 1.9 percent and property crime up 1.5 percent.

The preliminary data compiled by the FBI shows that violent crime increased 0.7 percent in metropolitan counties and 0.6 percent in non-metropolitan counties. Violent crime increased in each of the nation's four regions — 3.1 percent in the West, 2.5 percent in the Midwest, 1.1 percent in the South and 1.1 percent in the Northeast.

The overall increase in violent crime should not be surprising or cause for alarm, said Northeastern University criminology professor James Alan Fox. With a steady decline in violent crime over the past two decades, "it is almost inevitable that some bounce back would occur," he said.

The number of murders was down 1.7 percent and the number of rapes decreased 1.4 percent. Robberies increased 2 percent and aggravated assault was up by 2.3 percent.

There were increases in all three categories of property crime — burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

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