Murders nationwide jumped by 10.8% in 2015 and overall violent crimes increased 3.9% over 2014 levels, according to FBI data released Monday.
The surge in murders and non-negligent manslaughters to 15,696 last year marked the largest single-year increase in decades. Yet both the overall number of murders and other violent crimes tracked by the annual “Crime in the United States” report fell when compared to 2006 figures.
The crime data show “we still have so much work to do,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday in Little Rock, Ark.
“And it is important to remember that while crime did increase overall last year, 2015 still represented the third-lowest year for violent crime in the past two decades.”
The nation’s murder rate in 2015 remained roughly have that of peak levels in the 1990s, The New York Times reported. And the total number of murders in 2015 made up a 7.1% higher figure than those in 2011 but a 9.1% lower total than those in 2006, according to the FBI.
Yet the 10.8% spike between 2015 and 2014 represented the largest one-year increase since 1971, The Guardian newspaper reported. There were 1,500 more murders with guns last year and 900 more black men killed than in 2014, the figures showed.
Rapes also increased by 6.3% in 2015, aggravated assaults grew by 4.6% and robberies ticked up by 1.4%, according to the FBI. The 1,197,704 overall total violent crimes in 2015, though, marked a 0.7% lower figure than those reported in 2011 and a 16.5% drop from 2006.
This complex rise in violence figured to be a topic in Monday night’s presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Experts told the Guardian they expect politicians of all stripes to react with “hysteria” to the figures.
“You lost 50 pounds. You gained back a couple. You’re not fat,” said John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Jeffrey Butts. “That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at your behavior, because the trend is not good.”
With News Wire Services.