Justice Department hails crime statistics

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department credits a crackdown on gangs, drug dealers and gun crimes as a reason for a drop in violent crime last year.

Department spokesman Peter Carr says the statistics from 2007 show that the violent crime rate "is near a 30-year low." He has called on Congress to provide another 200 million dollars in funding for local, state and federal police efforts targeting such violent crimes.

The FBI reports that overall violent crime fell 0.7 percent last year, ending two years of increases in crimes such as murder and armed robbery.

Burglaries, car thefts, arson and other property crimes fell by 1.4 percent.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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