New Database Reveals Alarming Clearance Rates for Memphis Crime 


Violent crime stats and clearance rates for Memphis between 2011 and 2013.

A new database created by National Public Radio (NPR) allows people to view the percentage of crime that has been solved by local law enforcement from 2011 through 2013.

Compiled using statistics submitted to the FBI’s “Uniform Crime Report,” the tool allows a person to enter a city, county, agency, or state into a search bar and see both the violent crime and property crime that occurred in the requested area. By doing so, people are also able to view the amount of crimes that were cleared by law enforcement.

According to the FBI, a variety of instances can result in the clearance of a crime, including a person being arrested, charged, identified as a culprit, or when an alleged offender dies. 

When a person types Memphis into the NPR’s database search bar, they may be alarmed at the number of crimes committed that are actually not cleared. 

In 2011, there were 10,309 violent crimes (murder, manslaughter, robbery, and aggravated assault) committed in Memphis. Of that number, 40 percent were cleared.

The clearance for violent crime declined for the following two years. 

In 2012,  there were 11,390 violent crimes with a 32 percent clearance rate. And in 2013, there were 10,833 violent crimes; 28 percent were cleared.


Property crime stats and clearance rates for Memphis.

For property crime (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), the clearance rate was even more alarming. 

In 2011, there were 42,720 property crime offenses reported in Memphis. Only 13 percent were cleared. 

The following year, the number of property crimes decreased but so did the clearance rate. There were 41,965 acts of property crime; 12 percent were cleared by law enforcement. 

For 2013, however, property crime went down but the percentage of solved cases increased. There were 40,242 acts of property crime, of which 14 percent were cleared. 

An in-depth crime report of Memphis and any other jurisdiction in the nation can be viewed here.

By Louis Goggans 

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