Violent crime increased nearly 20 percent in Evanston during the first 11 months of 2018, but property crime declined by a little more than 9 percent.

Since property crimes occur much more frequently, the overall total of FBI Part 1 crimes reported by the Evanston Police Department declined by 7.3 percent during the period.

All four categories of violent crimes tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation — murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault and battery — ticked up in Evanston last year, while all four categories of property crime included in the index — burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson — declined.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew says full year figures won’t be available until later this month.

Responding to the increase in violent crime presumably will be one of the top items on the agenda for Demitrous Cook, who was sworn in as Evanston’s new police chief last week.

Over the longer term, Evanston has shown a substantial reduction in violent crime, compared to national averages compiled by the FBI.

While the violent crime rate nationally declined by a little over 17 percent between 2008 and 2017, the latest year for which national figures are available, the violent crime rate in Evanston declined by 59 percent during that period.

And Evanston’s violent crime rate was already lower than the national average at the start of the period.

By contrast, Evanston’s property crime rate has roughly tracked the national average during those years — declining by 35 percent, while the national rate fell by 26 percent — with Evanston starting out with a property crime rate that was higher than the national average and ending with a rate that was almost identical to the national rate.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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