The Mayor’s Office and Police Department shared another of their happy statistics this weekend. Violent crime is down in droves across the city, they chimed.
In fact, 3 of the Mayor’s Office’s 4 latest tweets are about the reduction in violent crime
That reduction does not apply to Lakeview, though.
According to a Chicago Sun-Times graphic, ten of the city’s 77 official community areas have experienced increases in violent crime between 2011 and 2013. Lakeview is one of those ten, posting a 1% increase.
1% ain’t bad until you realize that virtually all of your peers’s violent crime levels are reportedly plunging. Lakeview’s neighbors were decidedly down in violent crime:
- Uptown down 30% • North Center down 10% • Lincoln Park down 23%
Our only neighbor to show an increase is Lincoln Square with a 1% jump.
The reason for the increase in Lakeview? One word. Robberies. Homicides are down. Aggravated assaults and batteries are way down.
The story, though, is that Lakeview could have shown the decreases that our neighbors are showing. Unfortunately, the police department and politicians managed to brush over and deny a festering robbery problem until it was too late.
The genesis of the problem our neighborhoods are having within Lakeview lies a few years before the Sun-Times’ 2011 comparisons. That’s when Wrigleyville and Boystown’s once-minimal robbery problem began to take root and blossom into the complete mess that we have today.
While the city has routinely claimed that robberies have gone “down” citywide over recent years, Wrigleyville and Boystown have managed to plow a path of their own:
Here is how Lakeview-wide violent crimes break down during the Sun-Times study period, according to the city’s data portal:
Criminal Sexual Assault
Aggravated Assault + Aggravated Battery
UPDATE: A CWB reader has pointed out that the Yale report relied upon for the mayor’s proclamation gives Chicago a bit of an edge over other cities.
Chicago does not report “forcible rape” according to FBI guidelines, so the city’s violent crime rate is calculated without including rapes. That fact is buried in the report’s last sentence HERE.
In 2012, Chicago recorded 1,346 criminal sexual assaults. 362 of those were categorized as “aggravated.”
Including rapes would likely put Chicago’s violent crime rate in the range of Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.