A study from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Department has recently concluded that violent crime decreased 15 percent in 2000, which conflicts with a prior announcement made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), signaling an end to a decade-long fall in national crime rates.

The study released June 13 found that a drastic decrease in simple assaults and other relatively minor types of crime that aren’t tracked by the FBI drove the nationwide rates of violent crime down 15 percent and property crime down 10 percent from 1999 to 2000. The FBI found in its preliminary data in June and concluded that violent crime in that same period rose 0.1 percent, while property crime was unchanged.

According to the bureau’s report, people ages 12 and older were the victims of violent crime at a rate of 28 offenses per 1,000 people, a drop of 44 percent since 1993. The study does not count murders because it tracks only those crimes in which the victims are interviewed. Property crimes, including burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft, made up three-fourths of all offenses. In addition, the number of rapes and other sexual assaults and of “simple assaults,” which, unlike aggravated assaults, do not include a weapon or serious injury, also declined.

People in the Western states faced the highest rate of violent crime in the country in 2000, with about 34 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 223 property crimes. The Northeast has been considered the safest of the four regions, with 23 violent crimes and 144 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Justice Department officials note that the differences in its numbers versus the FBI’s numbers measure somewhat different crimes and use different methods.

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