Chicago Adding to Nation's Increase in Violent Crime
By Mary Boone
Nationally, the violent crime rate is on the rise.
According to the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2012, the number of violent crimes reported in the first six months of 2012 increased 1.9 percent as compared to the first six months of 2011. Violent crime, according to the UCR Program, includes four major offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Unfortunately, Chicago seems to be part of that trend, particularly when it comes to homicides. The city garnered unwanted national attention in early 2011, when its gang war intensified. In March of that year, 52 people died as a result of violent crime – more than twice as many as died in the previous March. The pace of Chicago homicides and shootings slowed as the year wore on; 431 murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases were reported in the city in 2011, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. The city’s murder rate places it 18th among large American cities, with 15.2 per 100,000 residents.
Crimes rates vary greatly across the metro area and violent crimes are more prevalent in poorer, struggling neighborhoods. But, if you’re planning a move to Chicago and are concerned about crime rates in certain neighborhoods, do your due diligence: talk to community police liaisons and check databases for the location of registered sex offenders; ask about block watch groups.
While Chicago crime statistics may be off-putting, it’s good to note the city did not make the FBI’s list of the nation’s “Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities.” Instead, two Michigan cities topped that list: Flint with 2,337 violent crimes per 100,000 people and Detroit with 2,137 violent crimes and 48.2 murders per 100,000 people.
St. Louis, Oakland, Memphis, Little Rock, Birmingham, Atlanta, Baltimore and Stockton, Calif., rounded out the list of dangerous cities.
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