The overall index crime rate per 100,000 North Carolinians decreased by 8.8 percent from 2008, according to the Annual Summary Report of 2009.
"A lower crime rate is good for North Carolina's economic development, our safety and our quality of life," Cooper said. "But no amount of crime is acceptable and we must continue our focus on better technology, tougher laws and better prevention."
The North Carolina Department of Justice and the State Bureau of Investigation categorized crimes into two major types, violent crimes and property crimes. North Carolina's SBI began collecting statistics on statewide crime rates in 1973.
While every subdivision of property crime (including burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) decreased since 2008, one category of violent crime - rape - stayed the same.
The violent crime class consists of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
"There are also crimes that these numbers don't reflect, such as some computer crimes and crimes connected with prescription drug abuse," Cooper said. "Law enforcement is constantly confronted with new crime trends and that's why we must make sure that officers have access to the best in crime fighting technology, like DNA."
Wake County was among the few in the state that did not follow the downward trend in overall reported crime rates.
Out of North Carolina's largest 10 counties, Wake joined Union County, Robeson County and Onslow County in reporting higher numbers.
Wake experienced a 17 percent increase in overall reported crimes, but violent crimes did drop slightly.
Statewide, juvenile arrests for all crimes dropped 11 percent, while adult arrest for all crimes fell 3 percent.
For more detailed information about this crime report and information specific to your area, checkout the full report at the NC Department of Justice online.