The FBI says the west was the only region in the country where overall crime actually increased last year.
Experts say Los Angeles accounted for much of the West's 2.9-percent increase over the year before.
Murders in Los Angeles grew by 12-percent to 654 last year. Officials in
the West's largest city blame the increase on gang violence.
The biggest decline in overall crime was reported in the
In New York City, homicides dropped from 660 in 2001 to 590 in
Nationwide, the FBI says crime resumed its decline, even though the murders and rapes increased. The number of reported rapes rose by four percent and the number of murders grew by 1.8-percent.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)