RALEIGH, N.C. — State Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Thursday the overall crime rate is down 2.4 percent compared to last year.
"There's good news for North Carolina in our fight against crime," he said.
Cooper also said the rate of violent crime is dipping more than 5 percent, but that may not comfort some.
"The families of the 513 murder victims, I'm sure, take little comfort in these statistics," he said.
The crime rate is calculated per 100,000 people. The statistics do not include crimes such as the rise in meth labs. Authorities have made 217 busts already this year, compared to nine in 1999. The numbers also do not factor in Internet crime, which officials claim is on the rise.
"Child predators cruise the Internet just like they hunt the playground, and these predators are even more dangerous than ever," Cooper said.
The dropping crime rates are attributed to three major factors -- good law enforcement work, tougher sentences and better crime-fighting technology. This year, the state Legislature allotted money to further DNA techonology -- a cause Cooper intends to keep lobbying.
"Even though the crime rate is lower, we cannot afford to lower our guard," he said.
The crime rate rose 4 percent in Cary, 6 percent in Durham, 3 percent in Durham and fell 6 percent in Raleigh. In Cumberland County, the crime rate dropped 1 percent, dropped 6 percent in Johnston county, 52 percent in Robeson County and 7 percent in Wake County.
The state Attorney General's Office relies on law enforcement agencies to report numbers. They are not audited.