The Evanston Police Department released the Part I crime statistics for 2015, which are the focus when measuring safety within a community.
Part I crimes include murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault/battery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. “Overall, Part I crimes for 2015 were down 5.1%, which equated to 104 fewer victims in 2015 than in 2014,” said the Police Department in a prepared statement.
Thefts accounted for 1,440 of the 1,952 Part I crimes that were reported in 2015. Reports of theft are down 4% from 2014, indicating that citizens are taking more preventative measures to secure valuables, said police.
The number of aggravated batteries, aggravated assaults, robberies, and criminal sexual assaults declined in 2015, compared to 2014. However, the number of homicides increased from one in 2014 to three in 2015. Police said that homicides in Evanston have generally been linked to “ongoing rivalries and disputes between factions of individuals.”
A priority of the Evanston Police Department has been targeting possession of illegal firearms. In 2015, police recovered 123 illegal firearms, which they say has a direct impact on reducing violence. The number of aggravated batteries was reduced by 17% in 2015, compared to 2014.
The Police Department works to assign specialized personnel to the proper areas for overall crime reduction, which police say “is a dynamic process.” At weekly deployment meetings, police assess the reported crime and intelligence received during the week, and the assessments are used to assign extra patrols to certain areas. The assessments also help the tactical unit to focus on burglary patterns, the neighborhood enforcement teams to work more effectively to reduce illegal drug sales, the traffic bureau officers to use increased enforcement to reduce pedestrian accidents, and the problem-solving/foot patrol officers to augment dialogue with community members to make sure the police department is properly serving its diverse population with dignity and respect.