Crime decreased about 8 percent in Salt Lake City last year while the crime rate nationally went the other direction - rising by 1 percent, the FBI reported Sunday.

But that isn't totally good news for Salt Lakers.The city's decrease came mainly from large drops in property crimes. But violent crimes - like murders, rapes and robberies - spiraled up 13.2 percent, faster than the national average for such offenses.

The FBI on Sunday released national totals of serious crimes reported to it through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program. It also provided totals for all U.S. cities with more than 100,000 residents. Salt Lake City is the only such city in Utah.

The statistics allowed comparing how well it did with other cities nationally, cities in the West and among cities of its same size. The FBI reported that the number of total crimes in the city decreased from 21,889 in 1989 to 20,115 last year - 8.1 percent.

Nationally, crime increased 1 percent. It also increased 1 percent among cities in the same population category as Salt Lake City - with between 100,000 and 250,000 people. But crime in cities in the West decreased 1 percent.

The FBI said 158 more violent crimes were committed in Salt Lake City last year - 1,355 compared to 1,197 in 1989 - for an increase of 13.2 percent.

That was higher than the 10 percent average increase nationally, the 9 percent average hike in the West and the 12 percent among cities of comparable size.

But property crimes in Salt Lake City dropped sharply - 9.4 percent - from 20,584 to 18,647. Nationally, such crimes decreased only 1 percent. In the West, they decreased an average of only 2 percent. And rates remained unchanged nationally among cities the size of Salt Lake City.

Changes in the number of specific crimes for the city, include:

- MURDER: Increased to 25 murders from 18, up 38.9 percent. That was far above the average increase in the West and the nation of 10 percent. The average increase in cities of similar size was 12 percent.

- FORCIBLE RAPE: Increased to 167 from 136, up 22.8 percent. Again that was far above the average increase nationally of 9 percent, in the West of 10 percent and among cities of similar size of 11 percent.

- ROBBERY: Increased to 539 from 484, up 11.4 percent. The average increase nationally and in cities of similar size was 11 percent. The average increase in the West was 14 percent.

- AGGRAVATED ASSAULT: Increased to 624 from 559, up 11.6 percent. The average increase nationally was up 10 percent, in the West was 14 percent and in cities of similar size was 12 percent.

- BURGLARY: Decreased to 3,501 from 3,854, down 9.2 percent. The average decrease nationally and in cities of similar size was 4 percent, and was down in the West 5 percent.

- LARCENY THEFT: Decreased to 13,949 from 15,510, down 10.1 percent. Nationally, such crime rates remained unchanged. They decreased 2 percent in the West and 1 percent in cities of similar size.

- CAR THEFT: Decreased to 1,197 from 1,220, down 1.9 percent. However, elsewhere they increased. The average increase nationally and in cities of similar size was 5 percent, and in the West was 2 percent.

- ARSON: Increased to 113 from 108, up 4.6 percent. The average increase nationally was 1 percent and among cities of similar size was 4 percent. But cities in the West averaged a 2 percent decrease.

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(Additional information)

Salt Lake City crime

Increase/ National

1989 1990 decrease average

Total crimes 21,889 20,115 -8.1% +1%

Violent crime 1,197 1,355 +13.2% +10%

Property crime* 20,584 18,647 -9.4% -1%

Murder 18 25 +38.9% +10%

Forcible rape 136 167 +22.8% +9%

Robbery 484 539 +11.4% +11%

Aggravated assault 559 624 +11.6% +10%

Burglary 3,854 3,501 -9.2% -4%

Larceny theft 15,510 13,949 -10.1% 0%

Car theft 1,220 1,197 -1.9% +5%

Arson 108 113 +4.6% +1%

*

*The FBI does not include arson in property crime totals.

Source: FBI