WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Violent crime rose 4.1 percent nationwide in 2016 compared to the 2015 estimates, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday.
Violent crime, which the report defines as non-negligent killings, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, had steadily dropped since 2006, but had increased slightly in 2015, according to the annual report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The report … reaffirms that the worrying violent crime increase that began in 2015 after many years of decline was not an isolated incident,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
The report said an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes took place across the country in 2016, an increase of 4.1 percent over the 2015 estimate.
In cities with populations larger than 100,000, the violent crime rate in 2016 was up 3.4 percent compared to the estimate from 2015.
President Donald Trump, who took office in January, has said he would do more to fight criminal gangs and would send in federal help to stem violent crime in Chicago.
The Justice Department has reversed or distanced itself from many of the Obama administration’s policies, including consent decrees to reform police departments and limits on transferring certain types of military gear to local law enforcement agencies.
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Bill Trott)