During the first decade of this century the US suburban homicide rate rose 16.9 percent while declining 16.7 percent in cities, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Overall, crime dropped sharply in the US from 2000-2010. "The decline in homicides nationally has overshadowed a countertrend: rising murders in the suburbs, the communities that ring cities and have long been promoted as havens from violent crime," says the Journal. Criminologists and public officials cite weaker and more resource-strapped law enforcement in the suburbs as one cause. "That, in turn, attracts criminals who focus on suburbs, because they are looking for easier places than relatively well-policed cities to commit crimes," the article says. Twenty-five percent of US murders now take place in suburbs, up from 20.7 percent in 2001.