FBI Reports Falling Crime Rate in Illinois

Law Office of Philip R. Nathe

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that crime decreased from January to June 2011 across Illinois and in cities like Aurora, Wheaton and Chicago. An overall drop was noted in the number of violent crimes like murder and property crimes.

For example, murders in Chicago were down by over 13 percent in 2011 as compared to the previous year. Aurora also experienced a decrease in murders. However, the Aurora Sentinel noted that the decrease in murders was offset by an increase in violent crimes including sexual offenses, robbery and aggravated assault, which increased from 1,447 in 2010 to 1,467 last year.

Across the Chicagoland area property crimes, such as theft and breaking and entering were down. Property crimes in Aurora specifically fell 3.3 percent after increasing between 2009 and 2010.

Nationwide Decrease in Violent Crime

The reduction in crime is not limited solely to these Illinois cities. Nationwide, violent crime dropped by approximately six percent and property crimes dropped by over three percent. These decreases are not unique to 2011. Crime rates also fell in 2010.

Questions regarding what has caused these decreases often arise and experts have different opinions to explain the drop. Some credit longer prison sentences with keeping those with records off the streets. Others say the decrease is a result of a changing focus in policing to target “hot spots” where more crimes are committed. One theory even claims that crime rates have declined, because lead levels in groundwater have declined.

Whatever the cause or causes may be, the FBI’s latest statistics certainly debunk the stereotype and perception that recessions lead to more crime. Prosecutors may seek even stiffer penalties for those charged with crimes to further reduce crime statistics. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise of rights and possible defenses.

Source: Aurora Sentinel, “Crime in Aurora Down in 2011, Police Say,” Brandon Johansson, Jan. 10, 2012

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FBI Reports Falling Crime Rate in Illinois