Arson, assault down in Illinois crime stats -

Arson, assault down in Illinois crime stats

SPRINFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- There's good news and bad news in the latest annual crime-rate index from the Illinois State Police.

The state police statistics show that arson was down almost 10 percent statewide from 2007 to 2008, and reports of assault and battery dropped 4.5 percent during that time.

But the statewide crime index also shows a more than 5 percent increase in the number of homicides, and a 4.5 percent jump in burglaries.

Illinois State Police Director Jonathan Monken says the increase in Illinois homicides has left law enforcement agencies "troubled." He says state police officials are involved in several initiatives designed to reverse the trend.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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