Violent crime in Durham was down 30 percent in the first three months of 2009, compared with the same period a year earlier, and overall crime showed a decline of 8 percent.
Murder led the drop, going from eight to three in the first quarter, or 62.5 percent. While rape was up, from 15 to 23, robberies were down 245 to 153 (38 percent) and aggravated assault down 214 to 156 (27 percent).
Those numbers were included in Police Chief Jose Lopez's first-quarter crime report for the City Council.
The violent-crime total, 335, was the lowest for a first quarter in at least four years. From 2006 through 2009, Durham's first-quarter average was 390 homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.
Property crime was down 3 percent, with a 14 percent increase in burglaries but a 6 percent drop in larcency and a 29 percent drop in auto theft.