For Immediate Release
Friday, November 2, 2012
Violent Crime Down by 5 Percent Last Year
The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released their Uniform Crime Report for 2011 estimating that the City of Columbus saw a 5 percent reduction in overall reported violent crime with a 10 percent reduction in reported aggravated assaults and an 8 percent reduction in reported homicides. The report also estimated a 2.5 percent reduction in reported property crimes with a 13 percent reduction in motor vehicle thefts.
“While one violent crime in the City of Columbus is too many, we clearly are headed in the right direction,” Mayor Michael B. Coleman said. “This is primarily due to the courage and the effectiveness of our police officers. It is also a result of our collective efforts as a community to intervene in the lives of those young people at risk of turning to a life of crime.”
Overall, the FBI reported the reductions:
- Violent crime: 5 percent
- Murder 8 percent
- Rape: 1.5 percent
- Robbery: 3.7 percent
- Aggravated Assaults: 10 percent
- Property crimes: 2.5 percent
- Burglary: 0.5 percent
- Larceny theft: 2 percent
- Motor vehicle theft: 13 percent
“The safety of Columbus residents and visitors is City Council's number one priority,” said Councilmember Michelle M. Mills, Chair of the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee. “Thanks to the leadership of Chief Jacobs and the brave men and women of the Columbus Division of Police who risk their lives when they start every shift, we have a safer community for everyone.”
Among factors that have led to the recent reduction in crime are:
The Community Safety Initiative, a 12-week summer enforcement program that targets the most volatile neighborhoods in our city. Resources are based upon statistical data and intelligence as well as real-time monitoring of incidents. The goals of the program include: active targeting of violent and gang-related criminals; removal of unlawful firearms; serving outstanding warrants; ensuring safe environments within Downtown parks; responding to the concerns of community members; increasing the presence of uniformed officers; and timely deployment of resources. In 2012, the CSI addressed 2,530 hotspots; checked 944 businesses, churches and schools; made more than 220 felony arrests and 200 misdemeanor arrests; and recovered 75 guns.
Community Response Teams work the streets year around to address violent criminal activity in specific high crime areas while maintaining a positive and professional relationship with the residential and business communities in the targeted areas. The CRT provides a visible uniform presence in those areas where there has been an increase in violent crime and provides strict enforcement of traffic and criminal laws.
Neighborhood Safety Cameras: Columbus currently has more than 120 neighborhood safety cameras located in five neighborhoods throughout the city, which has led to significant reductions in crime—ranging from 49 percent to 14 percent—in four of the five neighborhoods.
License Plate Readers: Many of our police cruisers are equipped with a camera that scans license plates as the cruiser drives around on routine patrols. The reader has the ability to notify an officer if a license plates number that has been scanned has been reported stolen. This does not reduce motor vehicle thefts but aids in the recovery process.
APPS: Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success has attracted approximately 6,600 young people to city recreation centers during expanded summer hours intended to provide positive activities for youth, including sports, games, arts and classes for life skills. Last summer the program was expanded to send community intervention teams into neighborhoods and events to engage young people and prevent violence. Also, community festivals in four separate areas of the city were held, attracting thousands of additional residents on weekend nights.
The Coalition for a Nonviolent Columbus was created by Mayor Coleman to engage residents to become active in their communities; attract and share neighborhood best practices around neighborhood improvement and violence reduction; and assist in the implementation of a neighborhood seed grants and act as an initial review board. Over the past two years, the CNC has approved more than 110 grants and distributed more than $88,000 to different community groups throughout the city of Columbus. Some of the projects funded include: National Night Out and other community events; neighborhood clean-ups, litter clean-ups, and graffiti clean-ups; supplies for block watch patrols such as police scanner, flashlights, safety vests and walkie talkies; and several other programs addressing youth violence.
_ _ _