Stats Show Violent Crime In Memphis, Shelby County Is On The Rise

New data shows murders, forcible rapes, aggravated assaults, and robberies across Shelby County are on the rise compared to 2013.

The Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission disclosed countywide crime statistics for January through July 2014 in the latest Operation: Safe Community monthly crime trends report.

According to the report, violent crime has increased by 5.7 percent in Memphis and 5.8 percent countywide this year thus far compared to last year.

From January to July 2014, there were 80 murders, 233 forcible rapes, 4,880 aggravated assaults, and 1,987 robberies in Shelby County. Over the same period in 2013, there were 73 murders, 218 forcible rapes, 4,622 aggravated assaults, and 1,872 robberies.

“We are concerned about the increase in reported major violent crimes,” said Bill Gibbons, chair of Operation: Safe Community and commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, in a statement. “It points out the importance of continuing to focus on those parts of the Operation: Safe Community plan designed to curb violent street crime, in particular, data-driven deployment of police resources to areas of high rates of youth crime.”
On the contrary, major property crime decreased by 5.4 percent in Memphis and 5.5 percent countywide from January through July 2014, compared to the same time period in 2013.

In 2014, there were 6,845 burglaries, 16,630 theft offenses, and 1,792 motor vehicle thefts. However, in 2013, there were 7,513 burglaries, 17,446 theft offenses, and 1,781 motor vehicle thefts.

“We are encouraged by the continued decline in reported major property crimes, both in Memphis and countywide,” Gibbons said. “We hope the decline in reported domestic violence offenses is a sign that state and local efforts to address this problem are paying off.”

The Operation: Safe Community monthly crime trends report utilizes data reported by local enforcement agencies to the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System.

Operation: Safe Community was launched in 2007 and is an initiative to reduce crime in Memphis and Shelby County. Spearheaded by the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission, the initiative involves an organized network of more than 100 partner organizations.

By Louis Goggans

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