By Andrew Hensel
(The Center Square) – The city of Chicago saw fewer murders in 2023, but other crimes are spiking.
Homicides in the city dropped by 16% when compared to the previous year. While some would call it a step in the right direction, others have noted different crimes that have spiked. Robberies in Chicago increased by 23% in 2023 from 2022, and motor vehicle thefts increased by 37%.
Tio Hardiman, a community activist with Violence Interrupters, told The Center Square that the pandemic changed everything for criminals.
“We were blindsided by the pandemic and post-pandemic with armed robberies and auto thefts that increased,” Hardiman said. “The pandemic brought on a panic when it comes down to the mindsight of some of the criminals out there. People are not making money on drugs like they used to.”
Hardiman said police need to make a bigger impact in 2024.
“Law enforcement may need to come up with a new strategy where they can assert themselves where people can start having more respect and fear for the police,” Hardiman said. “I’m not saying fear in a negative way, it’s just the fear of saying if we do this, the police will be right around the corner.”
In November, Gov. J.B. Pritzker addressed the trends.
“Violent crime has been coming down, actually, for three years but in particular over the last year,” Pritzker claimed. “Shootings and murders have come down significantly. Again, it doesn’t make anyone feel safer to just hear a statistic. It will take some time, but that is something people should know.”
Following up on the governor’s claims, CWBChicago reported that violent crime has actually increased in Chicago, not decreased.
Hardiman said if the city cannot keep people safe, then they should find someone who can.
“Drastic times bring about drastic measures,” Hardiman said. “If they cannot get a handle on it, then they may need to reach out for some outside help.”