Phoenix, Other AZ Cities Showed Rise in Violent Crime in First Half of 2011; Rates Fell in Most U.S. Cities

The latest FBI crime report shows violent crime was on the increase in most Arizona cities for the first half of 2011, even as the rate of such crimes fell nationwide.

Phoenix's violent crime rate went up 2 percent in the first six months of the year, (from 3,188 reported incidents in the same time frame in 2010 to 3,888), the report shows.

Before you panic and buy a third gun, though, consider that the rate in Phoenix has essentially remained flat if you take the population increase into account. The population went up about 2 percent from April of 2010 to the end of August.

This still ain't good news, of course. It seems that in Arizona, there are fewer appeals to what author Steven Pinker calls the "Better Angels of Our Nature."

Phoenix is seeing more murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.

Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Surprise, Tempe and Tucson, also saw increases in the rate of violent crimes.

The violent-crime rate went down for Gilbert, Peoria and Scottsdale.

See the FBI's full news release and report here.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.