May 12, 2022 - News

Downtown crime trends are mixed

Incidents of theft and violent crime in downtown Chicago, through April annually
Data: City of Chicago; Note: Data includes crimes labeled as battery, robbery, theft, criminal damage, assault, motor vehicle theft and homicide in the Gold Coast and Near North areas; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

High-profile crime downtown has recently shaken city residents and leaders, driving a debate over whether the situation is getting better or worse.

  • An Axios analysis of downtown theft and violent crime shows recent winter and early-spring trends have actually been mixed.

Why it matters: Like it or not, perceptions of downtown safety have major ripple effects for the city when it comes to investment, tax revenues and tourism, which is still in a state of recovery.

The methodology: Using the city of Chicago data portal, we studied specific crimes on the Near North Side and in the Loop from January to April over the last six years.

  • We looked at theft, battery, robbery, assault, motor vehicle theft and homicide.

Of note: Through May 8 of this year, homicides and non-fatal shootings across the whole city were down 7% and 17%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2021, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis.

Yes, but: Last year was also one of the deadliest in city history.

  • And 2020 was the nation's deadliest year since 1994.

What's next: As the temperature rises this week, sadly, we can expect violent crime to rise with it.

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