The FBI has released the latest iteration of its semi-annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which tracks crimes in major metro areas around the country. The December report brought the first look at 2010 crime numbers, covering the first half of the year. Nationally, the UCR shows violent crime (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) dropped 6.2 percent in comparison to the first six months of 2009, with the most significant drop in the South (the Northeast remained virtually unchanged).
The bad news: While New Orleans showed a few declines — particularly in property crime and motor vehicle theft — the city was holding steady or actually trending up in some of the worst areas. There were 105 murders in the first half of 2010 (2009 saw 97); forcible rape remained virtually unchanged; and robbery went from 485 to 497.
As of Dec. 28, 2010, the New Orleans Police Department had reported 156 murders in the city for the year — fewer than 2009, which had 174. In 2009, New Orleans had the highest murder rate per capita in the United States (52 per 100,000 residents), and the trend looks to hold true for 2010 as well. Final data for the year will be released by the FBI in mid-2011. — Kevin Allman