Thursday, September 04, 2014

PUSH BACK: Robberies Continue Steep Decline; 38 Hold-Ups Last August, Only 13 This Year

Source: City of Chicago Data Portal
Ongoing, intensive police efforts continue to show dramatic results in the fight against street robberies in Wrigleyville and Boystown.

City data for the final week of August is incomplete, but CWB estimates that the neighborhood ended August with 13 robberies compared to 38 last year. Year-to-date, robberies are down 42%.

Even more encouraging: Every month this summer saw deeper cuts in the robbery rate than the month before. The ongoing drive down may indicate that strategies put into place by 19th district Commander Elias Voulgaris are sending a message to criminals who feasted on our streets for three record-setting years.

This grid shows the number of monthly robberies
recorded in Wrigleyville and Boystown since 2001.
Here, you can see every month this summer
improved on the month before. Red indicates
the 10 worst months. Green the 10 best.
(August is a CWB estimate)

Fewer "Unofficial" Robberies

There’s more good news. CWB’s tracking of “Unofficial Robberies”—incidents that have clear, strong indications of being bona fide robberies that are not counted in official statistics for a variety of reasons—are down sharply.

Between May 17 and August 31 last year, CWB recorded 17 cases in which we believe robberies went unreported. There were only 8 cases during the same period this year.

That means fewer victims are failing to get timely police responses and fewer victims are failing to file police reports after calling 911.

Still #1, But Not For Long

Police beat 1924, which extends from Belmont to Addison and from Southport to Halsted, continues to rank #1 for robberies over the past 90 days. That is due in large part to crimes committed in June. Barring a stunning reversal, CWB expects 1924 to drop out of 1st place in the next 30 days.

Closer To Where We “Should” Be

Robberies citywide are down 36% between 2001 and the end of July. Had our neighborhood merely shadowed the city’s performance, we would see 99 robberies for the entire year of 2014. We won’t make that. But we’re moving in the right direction.

Map showing robbery rate change 2013 to 2014
in the 19th district. 

Where Have The Thugs Gone?

Across the 19th district, robberies have declined in 12 of 15 police beats. Beat 1931 in the far southwest corner of the district has seen an 80% increase this year—from 5 cases to 9. And in the far northeast corner, beat 1914 has seen a 38% increase—from 16 to 22. Robberies are unchanged on beat 1934.

Citywide, the sharpest increase in robberies this year has been in the sleepy 16th district on the far northwest side.  Of the 8 police beats with the greatest percentage increase in robberies this year, 5 are in the 16th district. Beat 1225 around Little Italy has seen year-to-date robberies surge from 9 to 25. Beat 211 in the Douglas neighborhood has seen 49 robberies this year compared to 25 at this point last year.

Sounds Familiar

And, finally, this old chestnut got thrown out at a Wicker Park CAPS meeting in August. After their neighborhood saw an increase in robberies this year, DNAInfo Chicago reports, a CAPS officer offered an explanation:
"People being inebriated and leaving bars while talking on their cell phones have had their phones snatched out of their hands.”
Heh. Heh. Don’t get us started on that one. Good luck, Wicker Park. With shenanigans like that, you'll need it.
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  1. ENTERTAINMENT TEAM!!!! great job

  2. Hmmmm...last year a lot of robberies. Then concealed carry gets approved. This year robberies drop. I wonder?

    1. Unless concealed carry was only instituted in the 19th district, your hypothesis is fundamentally flawed.

    2. Why would you say that Riz? Robberies are down citywide... Concealed carry could have something to do with it...

  3. Congrats and thank you to all the officers & staff of the 19th. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. We're glad you're here.
    I have to ask though: what are those new strategies Voulgaris is using to bring down the robberies? It seems our forces are still used extensively by the bar brawl mess on Clark, and we've gone RAP status for extended periods recently.
    CWB can you or anyone state what the new strategies are that are deterring the crimes?. I'm interested to know.

  4. To above poster, I am one of the first people in the city of Chicago to have an FCCL in hand, and carry on a daily basis, everywhere I go. That said, if you think concealed carry had anything to do with the reduction in our neighborhood crime, you are delusional.

  5. But why does it seem the same or worse ? I think because it has spread to daytime and into Lincoln Park. There are also buildings torched, cars badly vandalized, and the old Belmont "Rocks' area covered with Gang graffitti.

    In 2010-2012, if you got off Halsted or Belmont by 1230am, you were fine. No more.

  6. Wrigleyville + Boystown is my neighborhood. I have never been mugged, nor has anyone I personally know. Nevertheless, I was disturbed because statistics showed they were occurring at record rates. By that same token, not feeling relief now that the statistics are going down would be hypocritical.

    I don't know what the police's new tactics were nor if they were effective. But I do appreciate how the police now recognize crime in this area as a problem in large part because of this blog.

    I know that there's not much Tunney can do directly about the crime problem. But his failure to acknowledge it as an issue for his constituents is patronizing, insulting, and frustrating. Hopefully he doesn't revert to his head-in-the-sand approach if he is re-elected.

    We have growing evidence that the clientele coming to Lakeview for social services does contribute to the crime problem. This blog has done a great service by informing these organizations that they cannot simply collect their (sometimes) six figure salaries and sit idly as their clientele steals purses from grieving widows.

    Personally, I think there are many benefits to putting some of these services in the south and west sides: closer to clientele, cheaper rent, not every little thing will be published on a blog, etc. But that is racist/ageist/homophobic/bigoted thinking, while saying that the services must be in Lakeview because the entire south and west sides are homophobic and bigoted is inclusive and progressive.