CHICAGO (STMW) – Though murders have increased 27.3 percent compared to last January, there was a “double-digit’’ drop in overall crime last month, police said.

The information was released Sunday morning during a press conference at police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave. on the South Side.

The preliminary statistics show that violent crime dropped 10.2 percent and property crime dropped 10.7 percent, according to a release from police News Affairs.

Police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez said the final stats will be available Feb. 15.

Overall, crime decreased by 10.6 percent compared to January of 2010. This drop in crime marks the 25th consecutive month of reductions of overall crime, according to the release.

However, there was an increase in the number of homicides in Jan. of 2011 — this year there were 28 and last year there were 22.

When 2010 ended, the city had the fewest number of murders since 1965, according to the release.
While motor vehicle theft, which is considered a property crime, was up by 21.8 percent, every category of violent crime besides homicides decreased by double-digits.

Criminal sexual assaults showed the greatest reduction among violent crimes with a drop of 13 percent. Perez said in Jan. of 2010 there were 115 criminal sexual assault, compared to 100 this year.

Aggravated assaults and aggravated batteries declined by 11.3 and 10.1 percent, respectively while robberies dropped 10.4 percent, the release said.

Property crime showed reductions in every category of property index offenses except for motor vehicle theft. Theft dropped by 20.7 percent while burglary and arson showed 6.0 and 4.7 percent decreases, respectively.
Police Supt. Jody Weis, who spoke during the meeting, said the men and women of the department continue to work diligently to reduce crime, and none of the incidents are acceptable.

“We will not rest until the figures for violent crime and homicides are closer to the only acceptable number, zero,” Weis said.

Superintendent Weis commended Jefferson Park officers, who recognized the upward trend in motor vehicle thefts within their district, and initiated an investigation, which resulted in the arrest of one individual for possession of a stolen motor vehicle and the recovery of eight vehicles.

Weis praised the efforts of officers who seized over six million dollars in narcotics in two separate investigations, along with nine guns. More than five hundred and sixty guns have been recovered since the beginning of the year, including thirty assault weapons.
Weis stressed the devastating effect guns have on the city — saying the majority of the homicides in January, nearly 72% of the total, were committed with a firearm.

Because of that, and the fact that gangs, guns and drugs are intertwined, those elements will remain the focus of police efforts to further reduce violent crime in the city, according to Weis.

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