The rate of violent crime in Massachusetts dropped in 2016 while it increased nationally, new figures show, according to the State House News Services. The FBI this week released its annual report on crime in the United States, finding the number of violent crimes in the country on the rise for the second year in a row.
The estimated rate of violent crime in the U.S. was 386.3 offenses per 100,000 residents -- for a total of more than 1.2 million incidents -- in 2016, an increase of 3.4 percent over the 2015 rate. In Massachusetts, the rate of violent crime fell 3.3 percent to 376.9 offenses per 100,000 people in 2016, with a total of 25,677 offenses reported.
Last year marked the sixth consecutive annual decline in the Bay State's violent crime rate, from 468.9 in 2010, according to FBI data. The new statistics come as state lawmakers are mulling reforms to the criminal justice system, in hopes of reducing recidivism and incarceration rates. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program defines violent crime as offenses that involve force or threat or force, including murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The rates of homicide, rape and robbery were lower in Massachusetts than nationally, according to the report, while the rate of aggravated assault -- 265 incidents per 100,000 people -- was higher than the national rate of 248.5. A total of 18,050 aggravated assaults -- more than 49 per day -- were reported in 2016 here, along with 5,365 robberies, 2,128 rapes, and 134 homicides. The drop in violent crime in Massachusetts from 2015 to 2016 was driven by a decrease in aggravated assaults, which fell 4.9 percent from the 18,974 tracked in 2015.
The rate of property crime in Massachusetts also declined in 2016, falling to 1,561.1 incidents per 100,000 people from 1,688.4 the previous year. Nationally, the rate of property crimes -- including burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft -- dropped 2 percent. The FBI estimates that victims of such crimes nationwide suffered a combined $15.6 billion in losses last year.
The FBI's Massachusetts statistics are based on data received from 417 of the state's 494 law enforcement agencies, according to the bureau.