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Overall, crime in 2011 was slightly lower – 0.3 percent – than in 2010, said Commander Jay Parrott of the Evanston Police Department in a prepared statement.
There were 2,324 “Part I” (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, motor theft and arson) crimes reported in 2011 compared to 2,331 in 2010, he said. However, the most significant reductions occurred in the area of violent crime. Murder was 40 percent lower (5 in 2010 to 3 in 2011), aggravated battery and assaults were reduced by 23.8 percent (126 in 2010 to 96 in 2011) and police response to calls of shots fired were down by 28.3 percent, he said. Evanston police responded to 129 calls of shots fired in 2011 compared to 180 shots-fired calls in 2010.
During 2011 the Evanston Police Department concluded two major undercover narcotics operations that had been initiated with the goal of reducing violent crime, the Commander said. Those operations were “Operation Bloodhound,” which specifically targeted the “Belizean Bloods” Street Gang, and “Operation Replay,” which focused on narcotics sales at street- and mid-level dealers in Evanston and surrounding communities. These two operations netted a total of 54 individuals arrested.
“Illegal drug-dealing has a direct link to attributing to violent crime within criminal organizations,” said Commander Parrott. “These extended undercover operations had a direct result of disrupting these types of criminal organizations selling illegal drugs and using firearms to conduct their day-to-day criminal enterprises. Evanston is a safer place because of these cooperative efforts by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cook County Sheriff working with Evanston Police.”
The majority of crimes reported in Evanston are thefts, said the Commander. In 2011, there were 66 more reported thefts, or 4.1 percent, than in 2010. Of these, many were crimes of opportunity in which items were left unattended by the owner, he said, noting that 163 reported thefts involved items being taken from unlocked vehicles.