BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Murder and violent crimes declined sharply in Baton Rouge in the first half of 2013 compared with the first half of 2012. Police department statistic released Monday finds property crimes also saw a decline.

The stats showed an overall decrease of more than 13 percent in crime during the first half of 2013 compared with the first half of 2012.

Murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and assaults — classified as violent crimes — are down nearly 25 percent while property crimes — theft, burglary, auto theft and arson — are down by nearly 11 percent.

Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. said the Baton Rouge Area Violent Elimination Project and police street operations aimed at curbing violent crime are big factors in reducing the crime numbers.