Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A DECADE OF FALLING BEHIND: 44th Ward Trails City, Other Lakeview Wards In Crime Improvement

Moments after the South East Lake View Neighbors community group voted not to support a zoning variance that would allow the Broadway Youth Center to operate on a residential street, 44th ward Alderman Tom Tunney took to the stage.

In comments that could be classified as off-the-cuff at best, Tunney tossed out an interesting promise. His office would release a 10-year analysis of crime.

That was on January 13th. Two weeks later, there’s been no analysis released, so CWB decided to do it for you.

We hopped over the the city’s Data Portal and downloaded the police department’s crime data for 2003 and 2013. Then, our Excel guru assembled an “analysis.” It took about 45 minutes.

Our analysis measures percentage changes in reported crimes over the 10-year period for four areas:
• Citywide change in crime 
• Change in our 44th ward, which includes Wrigleyville and Boystown 
• Change in the other 3 wards that represent portions of Lakeview (wards 32, 46, and 47) 
• Change in crime within the formal boundaries of Lakeview
Overall, our ward saw a 17% drop in all reported crimes between 2003 and 2013. That pales in comparison to the other Lakeview wards' 43% drop and a citywide decline of 33%.

Our ward underperformed Lakeview's reported crime drop in 19 of 25 crime categories.

Consistent with CWB's position that our neighborhood's problem is violent street crime, our ward saw notable increases in two important categories: robbery, up 33% compared to a 32% decrease citywide, and battery, up 7% compared to a citywide decrease of 37%. 

The other wards that include parts of Lakeview enjoyed a 40% drop in robberies and a 44% drop in batteries. 

Meanwhile, our burglary rate saw a significant decline and homicide, which is very rare in our neighborhood, dropped from two in 2003 to zero last year.

Data geeks can jump over to our spreadsheet HERE to see how the neighborhood performed in 25 different crime categories.

Some headlines:

Criminal Sexual Assault (Rape)
Citywide: -26%
Lakeview: -22%
Other Lakeview Wards: -16%
Our ward: -5%

Citywide: -32%
Lakeview: +20%
Other Lakeview wards: -40%
Our ward: +33%

Citywide: -17%
Lakeview: -16%
Other Lakeview wards: -37%
Our Ward:  -8%

Citywide: -29%
Lakeview: -51%
Other Lakeview wards: -48%
Our Ward: -50%


  1. Tunney: Again too effing stupid to see that someone would pull the curtain back and expose reality

  2. Who's gonna run against Tunney?

  3. No one since the former alderman, Bernie Hansen, gave Tunny his blessing and a kiss on both cheeks in 2003 to be his replacement. People in the area of the ward office remark that they see Hansen in and out of the of office a few times each week. I guess he is still pulling the strings.

  4. Damn those pesky statistics….they'll always come back to bite you in the ass as a politician. Re: running against Tunney, I'd vote for my 10 year old lab mutt over this incompetent jellyfish any day.

  5. Doesn't Tunney have the foresight to realize that by not adequately staffing the neighborhood police force, he is committing political and media-destroying suicide once crime explodes and wreaks havoc on his precious Wrigley Field patrons???

  6. Can you remind us again what the difference is between Robbery, Theft and Burglary? Thx.

    1. Good idea, Anonymous. While there are finer points, here are some general definitions..

      Theft - "Stealing." Taking something without the owner's permission. If you see a computer on a co-worker's desk and you take it, that's theft.

      Robbery - Taking something from a person by using force or threatening to use force. If you put a gun to your co-worker's head and demand to be given his computer, that's robbery.

      Burglary - Breaking into or accessing an area without permission in order to commit a felony. If you walk into (or break into) someone's unlocked apartment and steal their computer, that's burglary.

      While we're on the topic, here are two other terms that are frequently confused:

      Assault - threatening to injure someone physically ("I'm gonna break your face!")

      Battery - actually causing physical harm to someone (Breaking someone's face.)

      Again, there are conditions and whatnot, but these are good starting points.

      Thanks for asking and for being a part of CWB!

    2. The sad thing is it don't matter how much we scream nothing will ever change. the Chicago political machine does as it pleases, always has always will. Now maybe, just maybe , it may change if we could get a decent person like Ald. Scott W. to run for mayor things might change.