Evanston police say violent crime incidents included in figures reported to the FBI dropped more than 26% through the first 11 months of 2019, but property crimes increased by nearly 14%.

Full-year figures are still being compiled.

If the violent crime drop holds up when full year statistics are released, Evanston likely will record its lowest annual total of violent crime incidents in several decades.

Crime rates in the city have generally been on the decline since peaking in the 1970s.

For the first 11 months of 2019, the city saw 104 violent crime incidents, compared to 141 in the same period in 2018. Aggravated assaults were down 31 percent. Robberies declined 20 percent, and murders dropped by half — from 2 to 1. Rapes were unchanged at 7.

The 11-month figures show a jump in most property crimes that are reported to the FBI, with motor vehicle thefts up 34% to 63, other thefts up 15% to 1,446, and burglaries up 15 percent to 272. But arsons decline from 6 in 2018 to none in 2019.

If the full-year numbers for property crimes follow the pattern of the first 11 months, it would mean those offenses would increase to levels last seen in 2012.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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