Violent Crime Rates Rise Again, Due in Part to Chicago Homicides

Crime Scene

Violent crime increased in the United States for a second consecutive year in 2016, remaining near historically low levels but pushed upward in part by an uptick in killings in some major cities, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics made public Monday.

The governor's office said that reported violent crime in CT has declined an overall 20 percent since 2011, though there was a slight increase of 2.6 percent between 2015 to 2016.

The report found an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes committed in 2016, up just over 4 percent from 2015.

The murder rate in 2016 was 5.3 per 100,000 people, whereas in 1991 it was 9.8 per 100,000.

Overall violent crime rose 4.1 percent a year ago, while property crime fell 1.3 percent compared to 2015. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said rising crime warrants the need to return to tougher tactics like more arrests and harsher punishments for drug criminals.

Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements told Eyewitness News that violent crimes were relatively flat the last two years, after they "fell off the table" in 2014.

Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, pointed out that only five years since 1971 have had lower violent crime rates than 2016. "Crime is incredibly geographically conscience - not just Chicago verses other cities, but even within Chicago".


"About half of the homicide rise in Chicago took place in five neighborhoods", said John Pfaff, a professor of Law at Fordham University Law School.

In Springfield, the number of homicides declined from 18 in 2015 to 12 in 2016.

The total number of violent crimes reported, 1,588, is the second-lowest reported in the last 30 years.

Kapustin says the homicide spike wasn't a phenomenon affecting "every single square inch of Chicago", noting homicides have disproportionately occurred in specific areas - typically the economically poor neighborhoods on the South and West Sides of the city. The FBI reported that past year, 435 people were killed in justifiable homicides by law enforcement officers.

The FBI surveyed more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies to compile its annual Uniform Crime Reporting program. On top of homicides, Chicago also saw increases in 2016 in robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts over the previous year.

Sessions has tied the increase in violent crime to "undermined" respect for police officers and, in a recent speech, connected Chicago's crime rates to the city's policies on undocumented immigrants, a contention disputed by the police there.

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