Violent crime in Aurora down 10% in first half of 2012: FBI
BY STEPHANIE LULAY Sun-Times Media January 15, 2013 12:44AM
Aurora Police investigate an early evening shooting on Friday May 25, 2012 on Aurora's East Side. One person was wounded in the incident. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 16, 2013 6:33AM
An FBI report released Monday confirmed that the goal Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas set in 2010 — a 10 percent drop in crime in two years — was met in the first half of 2012.
FBI statistics show that violent crime and property crime fell sharply in that period compared with the same period in 2011 — bucking a national and statewide trend. The total number of violent crimes in the city fell from 280 in the first six months of 2011 to 256 for the same period in 2012, a drop of almost 9 percent.
There were no murders in Aurora in the first six months of 2012 — and none for the entire year. There was one murder in 2011. The number of robberies, aggravated assaults, property crimes, burglaries, thefts and motor vehicle thefts also fell, according to the FBI report.
The only two categories in which violent crime rose in Aurora were forcible rape, from 21 in the first six months of 2011 to 24 in the same period of 2012; and arson, which went from 5 in 2011 to 15 in 2012.
Thomas said the absence of murders in 2012 meant that police had more time to dedicate to reducing other types of crime.
“You have a finite amount time, money, resources and manpower. The shootings and the murders take up a lot of manpower and resources,” Thomas said. “When you have none, you have much more time to dedicate toward fighting other types of crime.”
Besides Aurora, of all the cities with over 100,000 population in Illinois, the violent crime rate fell only in Rockford and Springfield. The rate went up in Elgin, Joliet, Naperville and Peoria.
Nationally, violent crimes increased 1.9 percent in the first six months of 2012, compared with 2011, according to the statistics in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report.
The number of property crimes increased 1.5 percent nationally for the same time frame.