Two things well known in Atlanta is it’s hard to find a job and your home/car has a high chance of getting broken into to. Today, the FBI announced that violent crime dropped 4% in 2011, compared to a 5.5% drop in 2010. Nationally, the murder rate fell 1.9% from 2010, and robbery, forcible rape and assault fell 4% each. However, among the cities with the highest violent crimes rates, the trend is not entirely positive.

A 24/7 Wall St. review of 2011 FBI crime data shows that violent crime rose in more than half of the cities that have
among the highest rates in the country. In seven of the 10 cities, murder rates increased. In eight of the 10, burglary went up.

Strained budgets are forcing police layoffs that many cities cannot afford to make. More than half of local police departments that responded to a national survey reported cuts in the 2011 fiscal year, according to the Police Executive Research Forum, an organization of police executives from across the country. Many are cutting police forces through planned layoffs and attrition.

More than half of the cities with the highest violent crime rates are cutting law enforcement budgets and police forces as well. However, unlike the national picture, the situation is worse for these cities, which depend on tax bases that are shrinking faster than most.

10. Stockton, Calif.
9. Baltimore, Md.

8. Atlanta

Compared to most American cities, Atlanta has extremely high incidences of both violent and property crimes. The city’s 8.27 aggravated assaults per 1,000 people is one of the 10 highest rates among the country’s largest cities, as is the city’s 70.84 property crimes per 1,000 people. Atlanta also has one of the nation’s highest rates of motor vehicle theft, with a total of 5,371 incidents in the city last year. Vehicle theft likely will remain an issue throughout 2012 as well; in March almost 100 individuals were arrested as part of a single auto theft operation.

Violent crimes per 1,000: 14.3
Population: 425,533
2011 murks: 88
Median income: $41,631
Unemployment rate:12.1%

7. Birmingham, Ala.
6. Little Rock, Ark.
5. Memphis, Tenn.
4. Oakland, Calif.
3. St. Louis, Mo.
2. Detroit, Mich.
1. Flint, Mich.

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