Aurora On Track For Another Crime Decline
After experiencing the lowest number of reported major crimes in almost three decades going into 2009, preliminary statistics released today by the Aurora Police Department show the city’s major crime will most likely dip again this year.
Through December 21, major crime is down 4.9%, with violent crime down 6.2%, and property crime down 4.7%, compared to the same time period last year. There have been 4824 major crimes reported through December 21, compared to 5073 over the same period in 2008. Should the trend continue, this year’s major crimes will be the lowest reported since 1978, when 4843 occurred.
Major crimes, known more commonly as "Part One Index Crimes", include the violent crime categories of murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault/battery; and the property crime categories of burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Six of the eight major crime categories showed decreases through December 21. Criminal sexual assaults were down 22.1%, robberies were down 10.4%, aggravated assaults/batteries decreased 3.2%, burglaries were down 15.7%, motor vehicle theft declined 22.8%, and arson dipped 34.4%.
Chief of Police Greg Thomas attributed the drop to a number of factors but especially credited the hard work of Aurora Police Officers. “I’m very proud of every one of them”, he said. “When combined with the partnerships we’ve formed with the community and other law enforcement agencies at every level, I believe it sends a strong message to criminals that they will be held accountable”.
Mayor Tom Weisner echoed Chief Thomas’ comments saying that, “Aurora citizens continue to take ownership in their neighborhoods which creates a ‘win-win’ for everyone who lives, works, or does business in the city.” The Mayor added that the new, state-of-the-art technology that will be afforded to the department at its new police headquarters, which is scheduled to open in January, will assist them in further addressing crime and public safety issues. “It is one of the most technologically advanced police buildings in the country”, he said.
The crime statistics are known as Uniform Crime Report Numbers ("UCR's"), and are submitted to the FBI, Illinois State Police, and other agencies for official crime reporting purposes. The final 2009 crime statistics should be available in late January.
Other numbers released today by Aurora Police showed dramatic drops in shootings and vehicle crashes. Through December 21, shootings this year were down 15.6% from 109 to 92; while crashes declined 15.5%, from 5679 to 4797. In the two major crime categories showing increases, five people have been murdered so far in 2009 compared to two during the same time period in 2008. Aurora’s murders are down by 81.8% in 2009 when compared to 1996 and 2002, the two years when a record number of 26 homicides were recorded. Thefts this year were up a minuscule 0.1%.
The Aurora Police Department’s “Wildly Important Goals” (WIGS) for 2009 include a three percent reduction in both part one crimes and traffic crashes.
Location: Aurora, Illinois
Release Date—December 30th, 2009