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Nebraska's overall crime rate fell for the third straight year in 2015, but the state saw a slight increase in violent crimes, according to the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

State law enforcement reported a 9 percent decrease in overall crime compared to 2014, the commission said in a news release. A 5 percent dip in robbery and 19 percent drop in burglaries contributed to the overall decrease.

Those drops aligned with FBI reports of crime decreasing nationally, Commission Executive Director Darrell Fisher said in a news release.

But violent crime increased almost 1 percent last year with an increase in rapes and aggravated assaults, the release said.

The state also had 61 criminal homicides in 2015, the most since 2011 when there were 68, according to the commission's statistics. 

Property crimes dropped 10 percent from the previous year, but arson reports increased by 36 percent.

Lincoln experienced a 1 percent increase in crime as crime fell 13 percent in Omaha.

From 2014 to 2015, Lincoln police had one homicide, down from seven, but the city had increases in rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults. 

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office reported a slight dip in violent crime and 17 percent drop in property crime.

Fewer hate crimes were reported in 2015 as well.

Nebraska had 19 hate crimes last year compared with 46 in 2014. Racial and sexual bias accounted for almost all of the incidents, the commission said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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