Evanston police today reported that the rate of major crime in the city is down 20 percent so far this year compared with the same period in 2015.

Of the eight crime categories included in federal crime statistics, the most common one — theft — had the biggest absolute decline. Thefts through the end of July this year totalled 687, compared to 919 last year.

Large percentage declines also were recorded in robberies and aggravated batteries and assaults.

Burglaries and motor vehicle thefts showed drops of around 2 percent.

But the three least-frequent crimes — murder, rape and arson all showed increases for the year so far. There’ve been two murders, compared to one at this point last year, two criminal sexual assaults, compared to none in the same period of 2015 and five arson incidents, compared to three last year.

The crime decline has been uneven from month to month — with five of the seven months showing declines over the same month a year ago — and two showing small increases.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    1. Shootings…

      Shootings — assuming someone is hit but survives — are categorized as aggravated batteries. Evanston police report that aggravated batteries and assaults totaled 47 for the first seven months of this year, compared to 61 in the same period last year — or a 23 percent decline.

      I don't have numbers for just shootings — but there definitely was a rash of shooting incidents in June that may have stuck in your mind.

      — Bill

      1. shootings….
        Yeah…there were a lot of actual ones, and suspected shots fired. A great thanks for the EPD for picking up a LOT of people in cars, with loaded guns in their possession….which means they were on their way to trouble. Lots of wasted energy by thugs…when they could be helping their own!

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