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Report shows violence up, property crimes down

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MEMPHIS—The major violent crime rates in Shelby County and in Memphis are up for the first 11 months of 2016, according to the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

A report released on Dec. 22 shows statistics for the period of January through November, based on preliminary data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

Major violent crimes include murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults. Robberies and aggravated assaults make up the highest number of major violent crime offenses.

“The new ‘Operation: Safe Community’ crime plan has a real focus on violent crime in particular, including both street violence and domestic violence. As a community, we must have the will to implement this plan,” said District Attorney Amy Weirich, who chairs the initiative.

Earlier last week, Weirich announced the creation of a new community-based prosecution plan for the Frayser-Raleigh area, with a team of prosecutors assigned to handle cases coming out of that area. This community prosecution approach is a key part of the OSC crime plan.

“With a focused, determined sense of urgency, we must meet the challenge of violent crime in particular head-on,” said Bill Gibbons, president of the Crime Commission and executive director of the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute.

The Crime Commission also released other statistics on Dec. 22:

  • Property crimes: An encouraging sign is the continuing downward trend in major property crimes since 2006, the year before the beginning of the OSC initiative spearheaded by the Crime Commission. Major property crimes include burglaries, auto thefts, and other felony thefts. The major property crime rate continued a downward trend since 2006.
  • Domestic violence: The 2016 domestic violence crime data showed a 9.0 percent decrease in all of Shelby County and a 4.7 percent decrease in the City of Memphis compared to 2006. However, the 2016 domestic violence crime data showed a 1.5 percent increase in all of Shelby County and a 0.7 increase in the City of Memphis compared to 2015.

For more information on the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, visit memphiscrime.org. For more information on “Operation: Safe Community,” visit operationsafecommunity.org.

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