With half of 2022 gone, Chicago has a 14% decline in murders compared to last year and a 13% decline compared to 2020. But murder cases are still 29% higher than in 2019 and 20% higher than in 2018. That’s according to the Chicago Police Department’s latest statistical report, called CompStat.
And that concludes the good news.
Across the city, the seven major crime categories, called “index crimes,” are at their highest levels since at least 2018, which is as far back as the reports go.
The real story, however, is found in the neighborhoods. Index crime in all five police districts lining the lakefront from 31st Street to the north city limits is at a five-year high. All but one are up 10% or more compared to 2018. Most are up 20% or more. Inland districts aren’t faring much better.
“When you got up today did you feel less safe than you did last year at this time?” asked Pat O’Brien, the former judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney who lost a campaign to unseat Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2020. “If you answered yes, then it is not your imagination or paranoia.”
“New York Mayor Eric Adams and New Yorkers are having the same problem,” O’Brien noted. “Mayor Adams lays the blame on the ‘soft on crime’ approach of progressive prosecutors who ‘treat criminals like victims.'”
The city’s own numbers tell the tale: When CPD brass and politicians tell you their crime-fighting strategies are working, it’s pure codswallop.
Loop, South Loop, surges
Index crime is up 25% from 2018 in the Central (1st) District, which patrols the Loop, South Loop, the north end of Bronzeville, and the adjacent lakefront.
Year-over-year, crime in the district is up a whopping 110%. Here are the numbers:
A stunning increase in shootings in the Loop is added to downtown’s troubles. As of Monday morning, 22 people have been shot in the Loop community area this year. There were 14 shooting victims at this point last year, seven as of this date in 2020, and four for the entire year of 2019. There were seven victims as of July 11, 2018.
Near North Side
Just north of the Loop, CPD’s Near North (18th) District stretches from Streeterville and River North through Old Town and Lincoln Park to Fullerton Avenue. Index crime there is up 4% compared to 2018 and 71% compared to last year.
Robberies in the area declined during the COVID era when offices and hotels were all but vacated due to COVID. But muggings are on the way back up.
Then there are the shootings.
So far this year, 20 people have been shot in the River North neighborhood, up from eight at this point last year and four as of July 10, 2020. The Near North community area, which includes River North, has seen 45 shooting victims so far, up from 18 at this point last year and 17 during the period in 2020.
Here is what the district’s latest CompStat report says:
Sky-high in Town Hall
From Fullerton to Lawrence and the Chicago River to the lake, the Town Hall (19th) District’s index crime is up an eye-popping 20% compared to 2018 and 70% compared to last year.
Worse, robberies are up 27% compared to 2018, aggravated batteries are up 26%, and murders, while low in comparison to many parts of the city, are up 133%.
Crime isn’t sinkin’ in Lincoln
Heading north, the Lincoln (20th) District patrols the northern end of Uptown, Andersonville, and much of Edgewater and Lincoln Square.
Index crime there is up 45% from last year and 10% from 2018. The primary drivers are property crimes like theft and motor vehicle theft.
Double digits in Rogers Park
North of Peterson, the Rogers Park (24th) District is seeing double-digit index crime increases compared to all recent years — up 40% over last year and 23% versus 2018.
Robberies, aggravated batteries, and criminal sexual assaults are at or near five-year highs.
Not much better
Moving away from the lake, the Near West (12th) District, which patrols neighborhoods like the West Loop and Little Italy, is experiencing a 28% index crime increase compared to 2018 and a 60% year-over-year jump. (CompStat PDF here.)
Index crime in three nearby districts is at four-year highs.
The Shakespeare (14th) District, covering Bucktown, Wicker Park, West Town, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square, is up 2% compared to 2019 and 34% year-over-year. Index crime there is down 6% compared to 2018. (CompStat PDF here.)
In the Albany Park (17th) District—from Avondale to Sauganash—index crime is up 5% compared to 2019 but down 31% compared to 2018, due mainly to a massive reduction in burglary reports and robberies. (CompStat PDF here.)
And in the city’s northwest corner, the Jefferson Park (16th) District’s index crime is flat compared to 2018 and up 29% compared to 2019. (CompStat PDF here.)
“We need to employ solutions which address both safety and fairness,” O’Brien, the former prosecutor and judge, said Tuesday morning. “Progressive prosecutors do not appreciate that you can do both.”