Both violent and property crime declined in Philadelphia last year, while the nation as a whole saw an uptick in violent offenses, according to FBI data released today.

In Philadelphia, 17,853 violent offenses were reported to law enforcement in 2012, a 2.3-percent drop from the 18,268 crimes reported the year before, according to the FBI's new preliminary uniform crime reporting statistics.

The city saw 56,997 property crimes last year, 4.4 percent fewer than the 59,617 reported in 2011.

The FBI statistics say the number of violent crimes reported to law enforcement nationwide rose 1.2 percent last year compared to 2011, while property crimes saw a 0.8-percent decline.

The increase in violent crimes comes after the nation had seen five straight years of declining numbers.

Some crimes in Philadelphia, however, did see increases last year.

According to the FBI's data, the number of murders rose to 331, up from 324 in 2011, and the number of forcible rapes increased to 880, up from 833. (The number of forcible rapes is likely to rise even more for 2013, as police departments began collecting data under an expanded definition in January.)

But the number of robberies dropped from 8,246 in 2011 to 7,984 last year, and the number of aggravated assaults declined to 8,658 last year, down from 8,865 the year before.

For property crimes, the number of thefts dropped from 40,113 in 2011 to 38,592 last year.

Motor vehicle thefts saw the largest decline of any crime, falling from 7,447 in 2011 to 6,401 in 2012.

The number of burglaries remained essentially unchanged, with 12,004 in 2012 and 12,057 the year before.

As a group, cities with populations above 1 million people saw a 1.4-percent rise in violent crime and a 1-percent drop in property offenses, according to the FBI.

For large cities as a whole, the biggest increase was the 3.2-percent rise in forcible rapes, and the largest decline was the 5.1-percent drop in motor vehicle thefts.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.