Three violent incidents in the Windy City over the weekend didn’t involve guns, including two stabbings, one fatal, and an altercation that led to a person being pushed onto tracks and struck by an oncoming train, with the victim taken to hospital in serious condition. All fatal incidents involved male victims, while two 20-year-old women who were in a vehicle that was struck by gunfire survived, according to the outlet.
It comes on the heels of a report last week from the Chicago Police Department (pdf), which noted 2,974 shooting incidents so far this year, compared to 1,940 by the same time in 2019, a 53 percent increase. The report also noted that homicides in Chicago were up by the same percentage, with 700 so far in 2020, compared to 458 by the same period in 2019. Aggravated battery is up by 7 percent, and car theft is up 9 percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2019.
Overall crime complaints in Chicago, however, are down 7 percent so far in 2020 compared to 2019, and down 25 percent compared to four years ago. The biggest year-to-date drops compared to the same period in 2019 related to sexual assaults, which have fallen by 23 percent, and theft, which has fallen by 27 percent.
Violent and property crime across the United States has fallen significantly since the early 1990s, when crime spiked across much of the nation, according to statistics published by the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the statistical arm of the Department of Justice.
The violent crime rate fell 49 percent between 1993 and 2019, according to FBI statistics, with large drops in the rates of robbery (-68 percent), murder/non-negligent manslaughter (-47 percent), and aggravated assault (-43 percent). The same source found that the property crime rate fell 55 percent, with significant drops in the rates of burglary (-69 percent), motor vehicle theft (-64 percent), and larceny/theft (-49 percent).
Still, while data shows crime has fallen, Americans tend to believe crime is up nationally, according to a recent Gallup survey. It found that 78 percent of Americans believe there is more crime in the United States compared to a year ago, up 14 percentage points from 2019 and reminiscent of figures not seen since the early 1990s.
At the same time, the Gallup survey found that Americans’ perception of increased crime in their local area is down slightly compared to 2019, with 39 percent saying there was more local crime in 2020 compared to 2019, while 38 percent expressed the same view in 2019 relative to 2018.
The gap between Americans’ perceptions of more crime nationally versus locally stands at 40 percentage points in 2020, according to Gallup, which is the biggest difference the polling firm has recorded in some 30 years of tracking these trends.