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CPD: Crime down in Chicago

Total Crime in Chicago Drops for First Month of 2010

CHICAGO – Today Chicago Police released preliminary crime statistics for the first month of the year, recognizing a 3.7 percent decrease in crime overall compared to the same time last year. The murder total was down 16 percent, with 12 of the Department’s 25 Districts reporting zero murders through the end of January, and another nine showing double digit or greater decreases.

“Going in to 2010, we announced our commitment to intelligence-based policing strategies and employing best practices to fight gangs, guns and drugs in our neighborhoods, keep young people safe, and engage businesses and community organizations to increase public safety,” said Superintendent Jody P. Weis. “I am encouraged that the city’s crime rate continues to fall.”

Violent crime in Chicago declined by 9 percent compared to last year and was led by sharp decreases in criminal sexual assaults, which were down nearly 30 percent, and aggravated assaults, which dropped by almost 20 percent. As violent crime decreased in all categories, robbery also was down 6.4 percent and aggravated batteries down 3 percent. Sixteen Districts showed solid decreases in total violent crime, with the top five districts dropping an average of around 32 percent.

Other crime drops showed in property offenses, which overall dropped 2.2 percent through the end of January. Down 9.5 percent, theft offenses reflected the greatest property crime decrease, followed by a slight half percent dip in burglary. Arson increased 25 percent (nine more incidents than 2009) and motor vehicle theft was up just over 22 percent.

At the end of January, Chicago Police recovered 74 more firearms than it had seized last year during the same time period. A total of 791 firearms included weapons which were seized from multiple caches uncovered during the successful execution of several search warrants last month. Gang Enforcement Section officers recovered 11 firearms along with ammunition and $35,000 of cannabis from a residence in the Morgan Park community on January 10.

Two weeks later, Harrison (11th) District and Narcotics Section officers recovered a total of 16 guns and narcotics valued over $27,000 after receiving unrelated tips from community members.

“Many of these successes are the result of strong partnerships: the hard work of police officers and the participation and assistance of members of the community. We cannot underestimate the value of partnerships,” said Weis. “I am grateful for our strong outreach efforts and the assistance and commitment of so many of Chicago’s residents.”

Chicago Police closed January with other search warrant success, including the Austin (15th) District’s efforts to arrest four offenders involved in a West Side fencing operation. Some of the recovered stolen items were returned to the rightful owners after police held a public viewing of property.

Other notable arrests included Town Hall (23rd) District officers’ work to apprehend an offender who forcibly attacked a senior citizen in an Uptown robbery last month, as well as arrests in two separate Area Three and Area Five arson incidents on the City’s North and Northwest Sides.

Superintendent Weis said he was “encouraged that the strategies put in place in 2009 continue to have a positive impact on the city’s crime rate as we look to new and innovative ways to reduce crime in 2010. However, the reduction in the overall crime rate that we have experienced thus far only motivates us to achieve even more reductions in crime over the remainder of the year.”

According to preliminary statistics through the end of January 2010:

Violent Index Crime is down 9.0 percent
Homicide – down 16 percent
Criminal Sexual Assault – down 28.9 percent
Robbery – down 6.4 percent
Aggravated Assault – down 19.7 percent
Aggravated Battery – down 3.0 percent

Property Index Crime is down 2.2 percent
Burglary – up 4.1 percent
Theft – down 9.5 percent
Motor Vehicle Theft – up 22.4 percent
Arson – up 25.0 percent

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