Tuesday, December 03, 2013

SMOKIN': Theft, Burglary Reports Down; Robberies, Rapes Up In 2013

We're getting close to the end of the year and we caught some tidbits on the news about how much crime is "down" in Chicago this year. 15% or something? Reeeemarkable.

How does our neighborhood stack up? Here's a quick look. All stats come from the city's Data Portal and reflect annual totals as of November 20th of each year.
• 13,965: Total crimes reported in our district as of November 20 last year
• 12,238: Total crimes reported in our district as of November 20 this year
That's 1,727 fewer reported crimes. 319 of the 1,727 can be attributed to a stunning 44% reduction in marijuana-related crimes.
• 727: Cannabis-related crimes in our district as of November 20 last year
• 408: Cannabis-related crimes in our district as of November 20 this year
Amazing. The battle to curb marijuana use costs state and federal governments $20 billion a year according to one economist, but the 19th district has managed to slash pot cases by nearly 50%. What IS our secret?

It's enough to make one worry about the future of the neighborhood's seemingly vibrant head shop industry.

Other district-wide and local drops came in the categories of theft and burglary. Possibly because all of the reformed potheads were able to get off the couch and get real jobs instead of stealing from the rest of us.

Wrigleyville and Boystown has bucked the "down" movement in two serious crime categories. Robberies and criminal sexual assaults have climbed on the neighborhoods' police beats of 1923, 1924, and 1925.

Robberies are on pace to hit a record high for the third consecutive year.
216: Robberies on beats 1923/24/25 last year
226: Robberies on beats 1923/24/25 this year. 
13: Criminal sexual assaults on 1923/24/25 last year
19: Criminal sexual assaults on 1923/24/25 this year.
One other number is "down" this year. That's the number of police officers who are assigned to our district.
476: Police officers assigned to our district as of March 4, 2012
372: Police officers assigned to our district as of last month.
That's a 22% reduction in officers. Now, police executives would like for you to believe that having 22% fewer police officers available to file police reports does not artificially reduce the level of reported crime.

They are the same executives who would like you to believe that common thieves and pot smokers have left our neighborhood in droves while street robbers and the thankfully sparse rapists come here more often.


Side Note
Our favorite police executive charade lately is the CPD's boast that Chicago is pacing to have fewer homicides this year than any year since 1965. 

That sure does sound good. Although, the city also has 835,000 fewer people living in it this year compared to 1965. Soooo, that means the murder rate is actually worse than in 1965.

The interior of a state-of-the-art 1965 ambulance.
But pay no attention to that. Please.

There's one other very important factor that police executives fail to acknowledge when making their homicide comparison to 1965. That is the unimaginable advances in emergency medicine that we enjoy today compared to 48 years ago.

How many people who were shot in Chicago this year would have died if they had to be treated with the medical knowledge and technology of 1965? Bunches, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Ambulance Image: Old-Ambulance.com


  1. The fewer pot crimes are a logical result of the city-wide change in pot enforcement, where small amounts have been decriminalized in Chicago so cops don't have to waste their time on arresting offenders. This is good policy.

    1. Agreed. Victimless crimes should not be crimes in the first place. Let police arrest real criminals who infringe upon other people's life, liberty or property.

  2. I have a question about what the numbers for "Total crime" include.... does this represent only those crimes where the victim filed a report? The reason I ask is that, from reading your blog, it seems as if a good number of calls are made to 911 for which there are no police immediately available and the victim eventually gives up.


    1. Correct, the only crimes that count toward stats are those in which a victim files a report. Of course, no victim is needed for vice and some other charges.

  3. After all that data, isn't this where Vulgaris tells us he ignores the data and relies more on feedback? Do not pay any attention to that man behind the curtain!

  4. I imagine the drop in pot cases is due to it being a ticketed offense in 2013 as opposed to an arrestable one, no?


  5. Excellent analysis and insight ... thank you VERY much! You all do such fantastic work, in light of and in spite of the blatant chicanery and word wizardry of our officials. Would be interesting to see what their poll numbers on public trust would be.

    1. Would be interesting to see what their poll numbers on public trust would be.

  6. Saturating bad area's with police officers on their days off brings the homicide rate down…where police are, crime goes down. which is why we have a problem in the lake view area--no police

  7. You guys suck. people take the time to post here and care about our community and you don't even post comment. Who excactly tooting your horn? Whi are you all behold too and what are you afraid of? I suspect mark thomas? Tunney? CPD? You nevr miss a t chance to post a comment that praises yourselfs. Why not post guidelines so what they are allowed to say?

  8. Was your comment as poorly written as this one? Did it mention Detroit for the 1,545th time today? Another lame blaming of the victim or crazy story you have from 15 years ago before you got smarter than all of us and moved out? Was it racist, anti-gay, refer to "Libtards" or make crime a Republican vs. Democrat issue (again for the 1,545th time today)? Did it say something to the effect of "if you close the Center on Halsted and/or Broadway Youth Center all of this would go away?" for the zillionth time?

    1. Maybe it was another of those rambling deep thought pieces about this problem being the result of the industrial prison-industrial complex? Was your comment designed to draw out the trolls and get a bunch of back-and-forth crap going?

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