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Reported crime rates in North Carolina continue to fall

Earlier this month, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper made an important announcement concerning the rates of both violent crimes and non-violent crimes here in the Tar Heel State in 2011.

The verdict?

For the third consecutive year, North Carolina's reported crime rate reached a record low, continuing an ongoing trend of falling crime rates. In fact, the reported crime rate in 2011 was the lowest since 1977.

Reports submitted to the State Bureau of Investigation by local law enforcement agencies in 2011 revealed the following:

  • The rate of crime reports declined by 0.9 percent
  • The rate of violent crimes reported -- rape, robbery, aggravated assault -- declined by 5.2 percent
  • The rate of property crimes reported -- burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny -- declined by 0.6 percent
  • The rate of juvenile arrests reported declined by 7 percent

While Attorney General Cooper was generally pleased with the results, he did stress that sustained investment in law enforcement is necessary to continue these positive trends.

"When we invest wisely in law enforcement, the result is safer communities," he said. "It takes well-trained law enforcement using the latest technology to keep our crime rates low, and we need to make sure they have the tools needed to do the job."

It should be noted that Cooper also indicated that the rate of murders reported actually increased by 5.9 percent and that some areas of the state reported more crimes than in years past. Furthermore, he stated that certain crimes not included in the report -- meth labs, child pornography and prescription drug crimes -- are increasingly becoming more of a problem for law enforcement officials.

Source: North Carolina Department of Justice: Attorney General Roy Cooper, "2011 NC reported crime rate remains lowest in decades," July 12, 2012

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