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NYC had lowest overall crime rate of the nation's 10 largest cities in 2005

The Associatd Press

NEW YORK- New York was the safest of the nation's 10 largest cities in 2005, with about one crime reported for every 37 residents, according to an Associated Press analysis of FBI statistics.

The annual report "shows that our innovative efforts to reduce crime and increase New Yorkers' quality of life are working," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement Monday after the agency released the figures.

The large city with the highest total crime rate was Dallas, with about one crime reported for every 12 people. Los Angeles, the nation's second largest city, ranked third safest, with about one crime for every 26 people.

San Jose took the No. 2 spot, while San Diego ranked fourth. Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, San Antonio and then Phoenix followed.

The AP's calculation ranked cities by the total number of crimes reported per resident and did not distinguish between violent crimes and property crimes.

The FBI said in its report that it makes a point not to rank cities, saying "they provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region."

The number of reported crimes in New York fell 4.3 percent last year, while the number nationwide dropped 1.2 percent. Police statistics show crime in the city has continued to fall this year, down 5.04 percent by Sept. 10 compared with the same period in 2005.

The national figures showed that violent crime rose 2.3 percent last year, the first increase since 2001. But in New York City, violent crimes - which include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault - fell 1.9 percent.

San Jose officials argue theirs is the safest large city in the nation. They use an analysis that takes into account the severity of the reported crimes.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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