June 5, 2007 - Posted at 4:05 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-On Monday the FBI released its annual Crime Statistics Report.
In the report robberies rose by 6% and murders were up by 0.3% between 2005 and 2006.
"Crime rates are driven heavily by national demographics. Typically, when you have a population that has a large amount of teenagers in it, crime tends to go up," said Criminologist, Larry Salinger.
Criminologists say violence in America typically rises about every 20 years, because during that time there are more teenagers committing these types of crimes. They say however, the trend should turn around by 2011.
The FBI's report shows that the largest increases in violent crime lie in cities with larger populations.
"When you look at the Memphis media, it's not hard to notice that almost everyday they are dealing with some type of violent crime," said Salinger.
But what about places like Jonesboro, where in the last two days six people have died violent deaths.
"We go through different trends. Some years we have a lot of murders in the city, relatively speaking. Five, I think is our record. Some years we go with only one or two," said Salinger.
But nationwide an increase of 0.3 murders per year may seem like a lot, but if you do the math...it only averages out to an additional 50.
"Fifty more murders are unfortunately fifty more lives. On the other hand, that averages out to one murder per state in one year," said Salinger.
So criminologists say before you jump to conclusions, you might want to take a closer look at the numbers.
"Most people just look at the numbers and they are probably saying crime increased, and that's all they're saying. They aren't looking down at the types of crimes. In fact, a lot of the crimes have decreased," said Salinger.
To see the complete FBI Crime Statistics Report check out their website at FBI.gov