The total number of major part-one crimes committed in Evanston was down 12.4 percent in 2010, compared to 2009, according to figures released by Commander Tom Guenther, public information officer of the Evanston Police Department.

In 2010, the number of robberies was down by 17%; aggravated batteries and assaults were down by 20.3%; burglaries were down by 21.7%; thefts were down by 8.1%; and motor vehicle thefts were down by 31.3%.

Criminal sexual assaults showed no increase, remaining at eight incidents, while arsons rose from 12 to 14 incidents, a 16.7%.

The main jump occurred in the number of murders, which increased from 1 in 2009 to 6 in 2010. “The Evanston Police Department remains committed and resolute in conducting in-depth investigations, and decreasing the frequency of homicides,” said Commander Guenther.

The police department has been successful in reducing the overall crime rate becuase of its “ability to gather crime data, analyze trends and allocate police resources, to expediently focus on areas and individuals,” said the Commander.

Each week the Evanston Police Department employs a “CompStat” approach, designed to address and analyze all criminal activity in Evanston, he said. “During these CompStat sessions also known as ‘Deployment Meetings,’ crime analysis maps are presented, trends are discussed, and the previous week’s deployment efforts are analyzed. Command staff personnel then review the most current statistical crime category summaries and develop specific deployment strategies designed to expeditiously impact crime in designated geographic areas.”

Commander Guenther mentioned three other strategies used by the police department to reduce crime: developing relationships with 30 community groups throughout Evanston and strengthening community partnerships; making information accessible to the public by having officers attend public meetings, sending information via listserves, and by publishing information on the City’s website; and by using methods employed by the Safer Neighborhood Area Project, which recently received international recognition.