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Monday, October 16, 2000

Crimes are down
7 percent nationally

But the number of murders in
Honolulu rose, the FBI says

Star-Bulletin staff

The FBI reported a 7 percent drop in serious crimes in 1999, extending the nation's longest crime decline for the past eight years.

The FBI said that the murder rate sunk to a 33-year low: 5.7 for every 100,000 residents -- the lowest since 1966, when it was 5.6 per 100,000.

However, in Honolulu, the FBI says the number of reported murders increased from 17 in 1998 to 37 in 1999.

The number of people murdered in 1998 was an all-time low for Oahu.

The 1999 total includes the seven people murdered at the Xerox building by Bryan Uyesugi.

The overall violent crime rate reached a 21-year low: 525 murders, rapes, robberies and assaults for every 100,000 residents.

The last time the figure was lower -- 498 in 1978 -- came well before an epidemic of crack cocaine sent violent crime soaring in the mid-1980s.

Nationwide, the rate and the number of all seven major violent and property crimes declined, despite an increase in the U.S. population, the FBI reported.

The national total for the seven serious crimes reported to 17,000 police agencies for 1999 was 11,635,149, down 20 percent since 1990. Total reported crimes were down 10 percent in the West, 7 percent in the Northeast and Midwest and 5 percent in the South. The totals were down 7 percent in cites and rural areas and 8 percent in suburbs.

Among violent crimes, the population-adjusted rate for murder fell 8.5 percent; for robbery, 8.4 percent; for aggravated assault, 6.2 percent; and for rape, 4.3 percent.

Among property crimes, the rate for burglary fell 10 percent; for auto theft, 7.7 percent, and for larceny-theft, 5.7 percent.

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