Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed on Tuesday that US crime statistics are “only” going up. In fact, most US crime numbers went down last year – and the decreases included one of the largest national declines in murder ever recorded.

Trump’s speech in Michigan focused on crime perpetrated by people who illegally entered the US. After he said that crime in Venezuela has fallen amid a wave of emigration from the South American country – and exaggerated the extent of Venezuela’s improvement – he added, “Wouldn’t we love to have a statistic where crime is down 67%? Ours is only going in one direction.” He pointed sharply upward with his hand.

Facts FirstTrump’s claim that US crime statistics are only going up is false. Murder, other kinds of reported violent crime and reported property crime all dropped in 2023, according to preliminary statistics published by the FBI. Crime data expert Jeff Asher says that, if confirmed by final data, the roughly 13% decline in murder would be the single biggest one-year drop on record in US data dating back to 1960, while the roughly 6% decline in reported violent crime would be one of the biggest on record; reported violent crime declined in every quadrant of the country, in cities of all sizes and in in rural communities. In addition, as Asher has pointed out, partial urban data for early 2024 shows that the number of murders again declined sharply in the first two months of this year.

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    In fact, most US crime numbers went down last year – and the decreases included one of the largest national declines in murder ever recorded.

    In addition, as Asher has pointed out, partial urban data for early 2024 shows that the number of murders again declined sharply in the first two months of this year.

    “Trump’s implication that the crime rate is only going up is false,” said Anna Harvey, a political science professor and director of the Public Safety Lab at New York University.

    Still, given the declines in 2023 in national numbers on everything from murder to rape to aggravated assault to robbery to arson, there is no basis for Trump’s claim that US crime statistics are only going up.

    In fact, Asher told CNN, the available data suggests that the national rates of murder and overall violent crime were lower in 2023 than they were under Trump in 2020, when the country experienced social and economic upheaval on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    “The available evidence from the FBI suggests reported violent crime has fallen since 2020 including a large decline in murder over that span.


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