Chicago Police officers and community members gather in a prayer during a rally supporting efforts to stop violence in Chicago in July 2017. (Reuters)
The violent crime rate is on the rise throughout the United States, with statistics show 2016 had the largest single-year increase in 25 years, according to new FBI data released Monday.
The bureau’s annual Crime in the United States report said the violent crime rate increased in 2016 by 3.4 percent, a slight tick up from 2015’s 3.3 percent year-over-year increase.
“For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime. And we must do it together,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “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.”
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The report says increases in violent crime were happening in suburban areas and cities of all sizes, ranging from those with populations below 10,000 to those with populations of more than 250,000. It added that rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all showed an uptick in 2016.
Across the U.S., the homicide rate also increased by 7.9 percent in 2016, marking an overall jump of more than 20 percent since 2014, the report said.
Full crime data is not yet available for 2017, but for some cities like Chicago, homicide rates appear to be falling.
The city reached its 500-homicide mark over Labor Day weekend, 14 days after it hit the same total last year, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.