Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Clearance rates, 2014

I've had a number of questions about crime clearance rates lately, most seeking to compare Lincoln with other jurisdictions. Here's the problem: while I have Lincoln's clearance rates for 2014, the source for the rest of the country, the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR), Crime in the United States, isn't published until the fall. Thus, the latest comparative data I have is from the 2013 UCR. Nonetheless, here's the comparison for Lincoln in 2014 vs. others in 2013.

Arson is reported separately, since it can be either a violent crime or a property crime, depending on the circumstances. As you can see, Lincoln fares well overall, topping the rate for all agencies and for similarly-sized cities on six of the eight Part 1 offenses. The glaring exception is rape, where our clearance rate is quite low. I have a theory on that, about which I expounded several years ago in this post--but you'll have to read the comments to get the details.


Anonymous said...

Here is what could be an uncomfortable question: Is our murder clearance rate similar to other similar-sized cities with similar racial demographics?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of auto theft:


The keys were in it, I assume?

Tom Casady said...


No, not this time.

Tom Casady said...


Unknown. The FBI doesn't publish clearance rates of individual cities, only aggregated data from population groupings. Like Lincoln, many cities publish their own data on their website or in their online annual report. If you had an agency in mind, you could check their site. I suspect the high clearance rate on murder, year in and year out, is common in cities like Lincoln where the number is in the single digits--although there aren't many of our size.

Anonymous said...

I am assuming a huge percentage of murders in Lincoln are domestic types. Is that correct? How does Lincoln compare in stranger on stranger murders to the rest of the country?
Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

Does Omaha publish their murder clearance rate? They're a bit bigger than we are, but I have a hunch that the "stop snitching" mindset is much more prevalent up there than it is here, and thus their murder clearance rate would be significantly lower. I think the vast majority of their murders are gang-related, and reluctance to drop a dime on suspects would make murders harder to clear.

Tom Casady said...


Yes, they publish their crime stats, including clearance rates. For homicide, here's the past five years from Omaha's website:

2014 72%
2013 79%
2012 46%
2011 32%
2010 53%

Anonymous said...

Any idea why the murder clearance rate has improved significantly in the last two years? Better cultivation of informants? More crimestoppers money? Something else?

Tom Casady said...


Well, I read in the paper that Omaha Crimestoppers has stepped up the maximum rewards, but Chief Schmaderer is also on record crediting better community cooperation.