Violent crime is down for the fourth year in a row, the FBI says. Last year, it fell 6%, accompanied by a 2.7% drop in property crime—which has also steadily fallen for the past eight years, the AP reports. Some 1.2 million violent crimes and 9 million property crimes were reported in 2010. Criminologists point to an older population, high prison rates, and improved police work as the source of the decline.
Robbery dropped 10%, while rape fell 5% and murder, non-negligent manslaughter, and aggravated assault sank 4%, the AP notes. Motor-vehicle thefts saw the largest decline among property crime categories, falling 7.4%. The drop defies expectations that crime would rise with a troubled economy. But “the connection between crime and the economy is an illusion,” says an expert. Still, “The last thing we should do is get complacent and say `mission accomplished,’” says a criminologist.