Feel Safer Yet?

The Assministrations’ main argument for keeping Alberto Gonzales on the job has been that as Attorney General he has done a remarkable job protecting America.

Oh, really?

The nation’s murder rate rose slightly last year but the number of robberies skyrocketed by 6 percent, preliminary FBI data released Monday show.

The statistics were part of an overall 1.3 percent rise in violent crime across the country in 2006 — the second straight annual increase.


The modest increase in murders reflected a mixed bag for cities. The number of homicides in major metropolitan areas — those with at least 1 million residents — climbed by 6.7 percent. Smaller cities, meanwhile, saw their murders decrease by a collective 11.9 percent.

The spike in robberies marked the highest increase in any category of crime surveyed in the FBI report, which was compiled with data from more than 11,700 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Violent crime rose in every region of the country except for the Northeast, the FBI reported. Western states saw the largest jump in violent crime, by 2.8 percent, the data show.

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