Many, like Obama and the Kochs, note that from 1960 to 1991 crime rose dramatically in the United States but has since then fallen almost as dramatically through 2014. The consistent drop was impressive, especially in large cities.
There’s one problem, however. Most of those who reject Trump’s crime claims don’t cite any data beyond 2014, the last year of fully available FBI statistics. To any claims that crime has risen since then, they respond that there are only “upticks” in a few cities.
But the FBI reports nationwide data for the first six months of the previous year every January. In January 2016, it reported crime figures for the first half of 2015. That data showed significant increases in violent crime categories. Homicide was up 6.2 percent across the country, while rape was up 9.6 percent.
While the data reported is classified as “preliminary,” the 2015 FBI data is directly drawn from more than 70 percent of participating law-enforcement agencies. It is preliminary only in the sense that it is drawn only from the first half of the year and compared with the first half of the previous year — a statistically valid comparison. Academic research also backs up the FBI’s newest data.