The FBI reports robberies dropped 7.7 percent in the first half of 2011 when compared to the same period last year.
The FBI reports robberies dropped 7.7 percent in the first half of 2011 when compared to the same period last year. - 

The Pulse is up today on news that despite tough economic times, law-breaking is on a downward slide.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, violent crimes were down 6.4 percent in the first half of 2011 when compared to the same period last year.

The study, which collected data from 12,554 sheriff departments as well as state and county police around the country, saw drops in every category it measures, including property crime. Murder was down 5.7 percent, car theft was down 5 percent, arson was down 8.6 percent, and robbery dropped 7.7 percent.

Because we tend to equate higher rates of long-term unemployment and less funding for local government and police with more crime, the FBI’s report feels counterintuitive. So a natural reaction would be to dismiss study’s finding as an anomaly.

But, according to the study, the drop off in wrongdoing is a trend. This is the fourth year running the FBI’s seen the numbers shrink. Last year saw a 6.4 percent decrease, 2009 saw a 4.4 percent drop, and 2008 recorded a 3.5 percent fall.

As a nonprofit news organization, Marketplace is on a mission that drives what we do every day: to increase economic intelligence across the country. But we can’t do it alone. Become a Marketplace Investor today, in whatever amount you choose, and your donation will go twice as far, thanks to a dollar-for-dollar match from The Kendeda Fund.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.