Shootings and homicides in Chicago down from historic highs of past years, but overall crime still up
Seven months after Chicago ended its deadliest year in decades, the latest police data shows shootings and homicides are significantly down though overall crime is up.
Homicides have dropped 16% through July, down to 379 from 452 at the same point last year, according to a release from the police department. The number of people shot has fallen 20%, down to 1,969 from 2,455 during the same period last year.
The continued drop in the most serious violent crimes comes after police began flooding the city’s 15 most dangerous communities with more officers and other resources, including help with jobs, housing and health.
So far this year, all but one of those communities has seen a drop in gunshot victims, according to city data analyzed by the Sun-Times.
In 55 police beats that cover many of those communities — and account for more than half of the city’s gun violence — homicides have fallen nearly 26% and shootings have dropped 33%, according to figures provided by the department.
With crime emerging as the key issue heading into next year’s mayoral election, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown have pointed to the drop in shootings and homicides as proof the administration is addressing a critical concern.
But those those numbers are still far higher than 2019, when Lightfoot took office and before the pandemic hit.
The police department’s release did not provide overall crime numbers, but data posted last week showed a 35% increase in reported crimes this year. Robberies, burglaries, thefts and motor vehicle thefts have all risen significantly.
Index crimes, which include some of the most serious offenses, have increased 26% this year, according to department data.
“Enhancing public safety and engaging every community is an all-in effort and remains a priority for the Chicago Police Department,” Brown said in a statement on the latest numbers.
Brown was expected to address the media later Monday morning during a news conference at the South Side YMCA, 6330 S. Stony Island Ave.