Government: Violent crimes spike 18 percent in 2011

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says the number of violent crimes rose by 18 percent in the United States last year while property crimes went up by 11 percent.

It was the first year-to-year increase for violent crime since 1993. The report does not address any correlation between the spike and chronically high unemployment figures.

That increase marks the end of a long string of declines for violent crime, which has fallen by 65 percent since 1993 — from 16.8 million to 5.8 million last year.

The information comes from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics' annual national crime victimization survey.

The bureau cautions that the size of the percentage increases in both violent crime and property crime is driven in large part by the historically low levels seen in 2010.