FBI data shows overall crime rate dipping in Erie, jumping in Niagara - The Buffalo News

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FBI data shows overall crime rate dipping in Erie, jumping in Niagara

Erie County saw a small uptick the homicide rate last year, but the overall crime rate dropped slightly, according a Buffalo News analysis of data released by the FBI on Monday.

Both the violent and property crime rates fell last year in Buffalo, according to FBI data.

Reports of violent crime increased in Niagara County by 9 percent, where the overall crime rate also grew by 4 percent, according to the News' analysis.

Nationally, violent crime and homicides surged for the second straight year, though overall crime levels dropped across the United States, according to the New York Times.

"Crime remains near historic lows, with an uptick in murder and violence driven in part by problems in some of our nation’s largest cities. At the same time, other cities like New York are keeping crime down," Ames Grawert of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University said in a news release.

The News analyzed crime data reported to the FBI by 19 law enforcement agencies in Erie County and seven in Niagara County for 2015 and 2016.

Erie County's violent crime rate last year stayed virtually the same as in 2015, with 404 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents. In Niagara County, there were 382 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents.

The rates of violent crimes reported to municipal police agencies rose in several communities last year, including in the Village and Town of Hamburg, Lockport, Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, Orchard Park, the City of Tonawanda, Evans, the Town of Niagara and West Seneca.

Violent crime rates decreased in Amherst, Cheektowaga, Depew, Lancaster and the Town of Tonawanda, according to FBI data.

[Buffalo's danger zone: Life in the heart of the city's gun violence epidemic]

Nationwide, property crime rates fell 2 percent last year, the FBI said.

The figures do not include crimes reported by the State Police, while limited federal crime data was included. County-wide population estimates from the Census Bureau were used in the calculation of the county-wide crime rates.

Crimes reported to police do not reflect the true level of crime because some incidents are not reported to authorities.

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