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FBI Report: Shocking number of murders in the US went unsolved in 2017

September 28, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
FBI Report: Shocking number of murders in the US went unsolved in 2017

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A newly released FBI report showed that approximately 40% of murders in the United States remained unsolved in 2017.

The federal law enforcement agency gathered crime and arrest statistics from 16,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. in 2017 and discovered that only 61.6% of reported homicides were “cleared.”

The FBI deems a murder case cleared when a person is taken into custody, charged and turned over to courts, or when suspects are identified but cannot be arrested because they died or can’t be extradited.

According to FBI data, that leaves 38.4% of the 15,657 slayings reported across the country unsolved — 6,012 in total.

Law enforcement’s success rate in the area has been declining for ten years, from a peak of 66.6% clearance in 2009.

Meanwhile, the country’s murder rate has increased over the same time frame, from 5 per 100,000 victims in 2009 to 5.4 in 2017.

New York state’s murder rate last year was far lower than other states often believed to be safer. Roughly 2.8 out of every 100,000 residents in New York were murdered in 2017. Alternatively, Ohio’s numbers were 6.1, Alabama, 8.3, Missouri, 9.8 and 16.7 in Washington, DC.

Meanwhile, big-city officers are generally solving homicides better than their Mayberry counterparts.

Authorities in cities with over 1 million citizens cleared 69.1% of killings in 2017, compared to 57.1% in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 residents. Smaller area didn’t perform much better, and only municipalities with 25,000 to 49,999 residents got close to big-city rates with 63.5% of murder cases solved.

New York saw 292 murders or non-negligent-manslaughter cases last year, a little more than half of the 523 slayings reported in 2008.

The NYPD could not give the number of murder cases that were cleared in 2017.

Homicides accounted for just 1.4% of the eight “index crimes” that the FBI tracks nationally, which include murders, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny, vehicle theft, and arson. Aggravated assaults included 65% of violent crimes, while robbery was 25.6% and rape 8%.

New York had the lowest overall crime rate out of the country’s 25 largest cities — with a total of 1,987 homicides, rapes, robberies, burglaries, aggravated assaults, larcenies, vehicle thefts, and arsons per 100,000 people.

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