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Hi, Crimes

By Margaret Lyons in News on Sep 26, 2007 2:50PM


Violent crime is up 1.9 percent nationally, but locally, it's down 3 percent. The city owes all of us noncriminals a pizza party. Crime dropped statewide as well. Uh, do we smell two pizza parties?

The FBI released its yearly roundup of crime in the United States, and it's a real gold mine for info nerds like us. But the first thing we noticed was most of the tables say Illinois has "limited data available." Illinois data include arrests made for forcible rapes of male victims, which is why our violent crime stats aren't calculated with other states'; their stats include forcible rape only against women. The rest of our violent crime stats are janky, too, because for Illinois cities with populations under 100,000, "the only available data ... were totals based upon an incident-level system without indication of multiple offenses recorded within single incidents." The Illinois Uniform Crime Report Office told us they couldn't comment on the FBI's methodology, and the FBI hasn't called us back.

But our info lust will not go unsated; there's plenty of home-grown data to dig through, even if it's in .pdfs without downloadable spreadsheets like the FBI does (grumble grumble). Here's some of what we learned:

  • There were 467 murders in Chicago in 2006; it's up from last year but down from 651 in 2002.
  • There were 2,523 aggravated assaults against school personnel in 2006, and Wednesdays continued to be the crimey-est day for school offenses.
  • Illinois tracks hate crimes based on "bias motivation"; of the 191 crimes, 80 were anti-black, 24 were anti–gay men, and 5 were anti-elderly.
  • The numbers of violent crimes and property crimes in Chicago have both steadily decreased since 2002, from a combined total of 193,319 then to 165,474 now.
  • 2,254 sexual assaults were reported in Cook County; police made 689 sexual-assault arrests.

Graph from the Crime in Illinois 2006 Annual Uniform Crime Report.