Jan 12, 2023 - News

Reports of violent crime dropped in '22

Illustration of a number sign made out of crime scene tape.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Columbus' drastic rise in violent crime recorded in 2021 was followed by a sharp decline last year.

Why it matters: City leaders said last week that Columbus is bucking nationwide crime trends thanks to a slate of public safety initiatives.

  • But police department statistics compiled by the mayor's office also suggest the drop could be a natural regression from a record-breaking wave of crime coinciding with the pandemic.

State of play: Reports of homicides, felonious assaults, rapes, burglaries and robberies all decreased between 2021 and 2022.

Yes, but: The local 2022 homicide count was still much higher than in every year but one between 2012-2019, the exception being 2017.

  • And last year's reported felonious assaults and rapes mirror 2020 figures.

Meanwhile, reports of vehicle thefts spiked as teen groups like the "Kia Boys" have targeted certain models of cars that are easier to steal.

Also, the number of gun seizures and youth weapons arrests rose in 2022, which Ginther and police chief Elaine Bryant blame on Ohio's gun policies.

What they're saying: Ginther called the state's enactment of "stand your ground" and permitless carry laws "reckless and dangerous."

  • "I don't know why we're surprised," he said in a press conference. "We let an assault weapons ban expire in 2004, we have a proliferation of guns on city streets in our neighborhoods across America, and then somehow or another we're shocked that there's an increase in violence."

The big picture: State law preempts municipalities from enacting tougher restrictions that Ginther and Bryant want to see passed, but that hasn't stopped Columbus City Council from trying.

  • The city and state are engaged in a legal battle over an ordinance passed last year to prohibit ownership of large capacity magazines, curb improper weapons storage and prevent weapons purchases on behalf of someone already prohibited from possessing one.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Columbus.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Columbus stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Columbus.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more