Monday, January 26, 2009

Crime stats 2008

Friday, Mayor Chris Beutler and I released Lincoln's crime statistics for 2008. These are for the FBI Part 1 offenses, the so-called crime index: murder and non-negligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, and larceny-theft. Here are the slides we used at the news conference.

With the exception of robbery (up by 50 offenses), everything else fell, punctuating a long term trend from our peak crime year of 1991. There were fewer actual Part 1 crimes in Lincoln in 2008 than in 1986--when our population was 70,000 less. Careful observers of the Chief's Corner will remember our change in how we handle drive-offs from self-service gas pumps. That look place in late July, 2007, so it impacted the number of reported larcenies for about five months in 2008. This accounts for somewhere between 300 and 400 cases of the 1,682 decline. It's still a very impressive drop.

The elusive "why" is an unanswerable question. That doesn't keep me from trying, though, along with every other criminologist on the face of the earth. I continue to believe that this one is awfully important, along with our problem-solving approach to policing. We've had an exceptionally productive year, and our police officers and support staff should all take a bow.


Anonymous said...

I'm curious if the rise in robbery counts is a result of new criteria / classification of the crimes in general? Perhaps something that was counted as one type of crime has changed, resulting in a decrease in one stat, and an increase in another?

Grundle King said...

Chief Casady,

I'm just curious if you think the Concealed-Carry Weapon Law has had any affect on the crime rate.

Some have given a knee-jerk reaction that a reduction in crime is evidence that the CCW law is working. Others have given the opposite knee-jerk reaction, that an increase in robberies is evidence that the CCW isn't working. I don't necessarily agree that either side is correct.

As an admitted supporter of the CCW law, I don't think a person could say one way or the other that the reduction in crime has anything to do with the CCW law without some sort of statistical analysis.

I do know this much, though...opponents of the CCW law purported the belief that its passage would result in 'wild west' shoot-outs. The crime rates, however, do not bear that out.

Anonymous said...

Chief-Good Policework can certainly impact crimes stats, particularly property crimes. If you arrest the right people, multiple-offenders, you can reduce the rates dramatically. Your folks should be commended for a job well done under less than ideal circumstances. I would be nervous looking forward in time with the economy weakening as I believe you may be facing greater challenges ahead. Out of work people do crazy things such as robberies, thefts, and the like. Wishing you the best of success in 2009.


Anonymous said...

ladies free admission on thursdays?

Grundle King said...

Not worthy of response, I guess.

Tom Casady said...

Sorry, Buck. I was out of town last week, taking care of the blog on a cell phone. I thought your comment was more of a statement, rather than a question. I've repeatedly said, both before and after passage of the law, that CHP would have no discernable effect on crime rates. Here's an example of my views on this, expressed on many past occasions.

Grundle King said...

Thanks, I began reading your blog only somewhat recently, and was not aware of that column. I apologize for getting pushy...perhaps I should have better stated my question.

Thanks again.