FBI: Violent Crime Down for Third Consecutive Year

Big Apple remains safest large city

Violent crime dropped nationwide for the third consecutive year and the Big Apple kept its spot as the country's safest large city, officials said Monday.

An FBI analysis of 2009 crime statistics found that overall violent crime throughout the US fell by 5.3 percent, including hefty drops in murder (down 7.3 percent) and robberies (an 8 percent fall).

"Although there are many reasons behind the decline, one thing is certain: smarter policing practices and investments in law enforcement play a significant role in reducing violent and property crime," said Attorney General Eric Holder.

In New York City, the total drop in violent crime was just over 4 percent but the nearly 10 percent fall in murders outpaced national trends.  Last year ended with 471 homicides in the five boroughs, a level more attune to the days when  John F. Kennedy was president.  By comparison, Chicago had 458 murders last year -- but New York city is almost three times as large as the Windy City.  

Property crime also fell in New York City last year -- by 5.3 percent , which was better than the 4.6 percent fall in such crimes nationwide.

"The men and women of the NYPD have found new ways to further drive down crime, even when faced with tough economic times and the threat of terrorism," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

New York city officials say that the Big Apple ranks 248th among the 266 American cities with populations larger than 100,000.

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