Monday, June 17, 2013

KNIFE ATTACKS: More "Popular" Than Ever

Robbery isn't the only violent crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown that refuses to comply with the Chicago Police Department's "crime is down" PR campaign.

Aggravated batteries refuse to decline here, too, and the number of stabbings reported in Wrigleyville and Boystown has soared over the past two years.

Aggravated batteries, agbats for short, are extreme attacks in which victims are severely injured, but not killed. Mere threats of violence are not agbats, they're assaults, and they are not included here.

The substantial increase in stabbings strongly suggests that street attacks are becoming even more dangerous and potentially lethal.

The Chicago Police Department claims that the number of aggravated batteries reported in Chicago last year was nearly 32% lower than in 2004, decreasing from 11,474 (pdf) cases to just 7,815 (pdf). The citywide decline looks like this:

Yet, Wrigleyville and Boystown has enjoyed no decline. Our chart looks like this:

The real story lies within the agbat numbers. Agbats with "cutting instruments"--stabbings and slashings with knives and other sharp objects--have soared over the past two years in Wrigleyville and Boystown.

The most infamous of those stabbings was caught on video and made headlines for weeks in 2011. Sadly, far more people have been stabbed off-camera.

Once again, crimes that really matter and change lives are not "down" in Wrigleyville and Boystown.

As always, we define Wrigleyville and Boystown as the area within the red dashed lines on the following map:


  1. Another major reason not to spend your $ there.

  2. Dear Mod:

    Im wondering if its worth to print out every report you have, along with your stats (as long as they are 1000% sound) and send a cover letter to the major newspapers, alderman's office, police department...letting them know they will need to answer this at a future CAPS meeting? What you think? (I can do the printing and binding).

  3. Hi Paul,

    Are you listening in on our conversations? We were talking over the weekend about how to best post the raw data for public access and review.

    We should have it up within a couple of days.

    It will be interesting to see how the truth is handled by the usual spinners. We can venture a few educated guesses:

    -They cannot generate historic data for the area due to the merger of districts 19 and 23. Therefore, they cannot determine the accuracy of our information.

    -Things are not as bad here as they are in other parts of the city.

    -This is what happens when people walk the streets drunk at night.

    -An increase from 10 stabbings per year to 16 per year is a small uptick.

    - Robberies aren't really robberies. They're just people having their phones taken.

    - Sometimes people living secret lives file fake robbery reports because they lose their wallets in Boystown and they need to have have a way to explain things to their friends and family.

    We expect these responses because we've heard them already from CAPS officers and the alderman. Each point is easily neutralized.

    We're looking forward to some interesting "conversations" and very quick ends to "open forum" portions of upcoming neighborhood meetings.

  4. Going to the CAPS meetings armed with the data is a great idea...if you can get a large group to go together. They'll dismiss one or two or three people. I really believe a strong grass roots organization of residents is needed. The LVCC is just a lackey organization for the alderman. Don't expect any support from them. I've gone and bitched to high heavens about this at CAPS meetings, I did at the LVCC board meeting, and have gotten nothing but a run-a-round or blank stares. People need to organize. That's how you'll get heard.

    Yes, print out all of the statistics and information in a professional manner, and get a large group of people to attend the CAPS meets...and bring them all for a personal meeting with the alderman. Next time the Congress woman is town, meet with her. Send the information to business owners and real estate agents. What needs to happen is an organized group of neighbors needs to make a lot of collective noise.

    And working the media is a great idea. Eventually someone will want to pick up the story. Unfortunately, that may not happen until someone gets killed, though.

  5. Our Google Guru has uploaded all of our raw data and spreadsheets to Google Docs, which was a completely foreign concept to two of us here.

    You can check them out here:

    The page is a little rough looking, but it gets the job done for now.

    Please let us know if you have further suggestions and especially if you spot any errors. We're all about accuracy.