Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

Deputy Police Chief James Pickett on Feb. 13 briefed the Evanston City Council on the City’s 2016 crime statistics, detailing reductions and spikes in various crime categories.

Deputy Chief Pickett focused on “Part 1” crimes reported to the FBI last year. Among crimes falling into that category are murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated battery/assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

In 2016, there was a 7.2% reduction in overall Part 1 offences from the previous year, he said, adding that that percentage equates with 141 fewer victims. Part 2 offences, deemed less serious, encompass all other categories of crime, Deputy Chief Pickett said.

The three most notable reductions in Part 1 categories, according to Deputy Chief Pickett, were in thefts, which went down 11.9%; robberies, which were down 25.5%; and homicides, of which there were two in 2016, down from three in 2015.

Notable upticks, however, were in the areas of burglaries – 329 in 2016, an increase of 5.1% – and motor vehicle thefts – 73 in 2016, a 17.7% increase. According to a Feb. 14 EPD statement, there was a 9.1% increase in incidences of aggravated assault/battery as well.

Deputy Chief Pickett said that, with regard to the auto thefts, in many cases the vehicles were left unsecured or even with the engine running. Most recovered vehicles were found on the West or South sides of Chicago. In 90% of vehicle burglaries –which fall under the general theft category– the vehicle was left unsecured in late hours, with something of value plainly visible.

Police officials said in their Feb. 14 statement, “Assigning personnel to the proper areas for overall crime reduction is a dynamic process.  Weekly deployment meetings assess the reported crime and intelligence received that week, thereby allowing for the identification of extra patrol locations and patterns that can be acted on by specialty units.  The Evanston Police Department continually critiques its strategies as it strives to reduce Evanston Part I crimes each year, thereby enhancing the quality of life and attaining the goal of making Evanston the ‘Most Livable City in America.’”

The City’s statistics can be read at http://bit.ly/2m8a5P9.