The state Department of Public Safety says serious crimes reported in Iowa dropped for the fourth consecutive year. Analyst Martha Coco says serious crimes reported by state, city and county law enforcement were down about one percent in 1999.Serious crimes include robbery, rape, murder, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and stolen vehicles. Coco says serious crime has declined by nine-percent since 1995. Coco says domestic violence increased eight-point-three percent. She says drug offenses increased by three-percent, but the rate of increase in those crimes has slowed since 1995. Coco says Iowa is near the bottom for serious crime when compared to other states.Iowa ranked 40th among the states for the amount of crime. She says the worst ranking for a single crime was aggravated assault at 38th. Coco says hate crime reports fell by 10 last year — down to 32.
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