The 10 Illinois Cities With The Most Violent Crime

Chicago has made national headlines over the past few years as gun violence continues to plague the city, but the 2013 FBI crime statistics uncovered a few more Illinois cities rocked by violent crime. Here are the Top 10 Illinois cities with the most violent crime (Chicago excluded).

1. Rockford
2. Springfield
3. Peoria
4. Champaign
5. Aurora
6. Joliet
7. Harvey
8. Waukegan
9. Bloomington
10. Decatur

Rockford Illinois

Looking Deeper

For their analysis, researchers categorized violent crime as a range of acts, including murders, rapes, robberies and property crimes, like burglaries and auto thefts. According to the statistics, Rockford, Illinois, comes in at number one for violent crime, with 2,065 reports of violent crime per 100,000 residents. Rockford also had the most reported murders with 19, again outside of Chicago.

Other facts about the FBI Crime statistics include:

  • Harvey, which only has a population of 25,500, had a whopping 10 murders in 2013.
  • Aurora has the most violent crime of any Chicago suburb, with 601 instances per 100,000 residents.
  • Cairo, a city of only 2,608 residents, had 22 reported cases of arson in 2013.
  • Albers, with a population of 1,187, is the largest city in Illinois with no reports of any type of violent crime in 2013.
  • Chicago excluded, there were 202 reported murders in Illinois in 2013.

Although the FBI stated that crime in Chicago is underreported, city data reveals that there were about 204,000 violent crimes in The Windy City in 2013. Additionally, there were 414 murders, 11,000 robberies and 7,500 instances of violent crime per 100,000 residents.

The FBI said the data should be used to determine how local and state officials can best prevent crime in areas that are most affected by violence.

Related source: CBS Local

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Examining Crime on Illinois College Campuses

Illinois Campus CrimeA report on crime on college campuses found that more sexual offenses occur at the University of Illinois than any other state school, but another school is home to more robberies and aggravated assaults.

Considering the University of Illinois has nearly twice as many enrolled students than any other school on the list, it’s not too surprising it tops the list, but it’s the University of Illinois at Chicago that has the most reported robberies and aggravated assaults. UIC is second in the state in enrollment with 27,589 enrolled students.

The annual campus security reports are due each year by October 1 and are required under the Clery Act, which was established in 1991. The Clery Act was established after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her Lehigh University dorm room in 1986.

Campuses are required to report all crimes that fall under these seven categories.

  • Criminal homicide
  • Sex offenses
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Burglary
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Arson

Campus Statistics

Three of the most common offenses committed on college campuses are sexual offenses, assaults and robberies. Below, you can see which state schools reported the most of each offense in 2013.

Sex Offenses

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – 20 reports.

2. Northern Illinois University – 12 reports.

3. Eastern Illinois University – 11 reports.

Assaults

1. University of Illinois at Chicago – 36 reports.

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – 23 reports.

3. Southern Illinois University Carbondale – 16 reports.

Robberies

1. University of Illinois at Chicago – 16 reports.

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – 12 reports.

3. Northern Illinois University – 6 reports.

Thankfully, no murders occurred on Illinois college campuses in 2013. For an in-depth look at the statistics, check out this infographic.

Related source: Huffington Post

A Closer Looks At Crime in Chicago

Chicago Crime RatesThe Chicago Tribune recently produced a piece that offers a comprehensive look at crime in Chicago over the past 14 years. Violent crime, property crime and quality of life crimes have all declined over the past decade, but let’s take a closer look at how crime fluctuates in the Windy City.

Crimes By Month

It should come as no surprise to any regular reader of our blog that crime rates spike during the warm summer months. Of the summer months, July was by far the most popular month for crime. Violent crime peaked in July in 12 of the last 13 years (full 2014 data not yet available), and property crime peaked in July in nine of the last 13 years. Quality of life crimes, which are defined as crimes that “demoralize community residents by contributing to physical disorder or social decay” – think vandalism, graffiti and prostitution – occurred much more sporadically than violent and property crime.

Although violent and property crimes generally spike during the summer, the overall rate of these crimes has dropped dramatically over the past decade. In July of 2001 they were:

  • 14,511 reports of property crime
  • 9,652 instances of quality of life crimes
  • 4,471 documented violent crimes

In July of 2013, the reported numbers were:

  • 9,912 reports of property crime
  • 5,967 instances of quality of life crimes
  • 2,604 documented violent crimes.

Crime By Location

As you might expect, some neighborhoods experience more crime than others. The breakdown can be seen below.

Violent crime rates

1. Riverdale (3.2 reports per 1,000 people)

2. Washington Park (3.2/1,000)

3. West Garfield (3.1/1,000)

4. West Englewood (3.0/1,000)

5. Englewood (3.0/1,000)

Property crime rates 

1. Loop (13.6 reports per 1,000 people)

2. Fuller Park (8.5/1,000)

3. Chatham (6.5/1,000)

4. South Deering (6.0/1,000)

5. Near West Side (5.8/1,000)

Quality of life crime rates 

1. West Garfield Park (9.8 reports per 1,000 people)

2. Fuller Park (8.2/1,000)

3. North Lawndale (7.2/1,000)

4. East Garfield Park (6.4/1,000)

5. Austin (6.2/1,000)

For more information about the report, head on over to the Chicago Tribune’s crime section.

As Temperatures Rise, So Too Does Crime

10129523_s16 people were shot in Chicago during a 12-hour period last weekend, and authorities say Mother Nature had a role in the spike in violence.

Violence in Chicago never hibernates during the winter, but it usually tapers off as bandits and burglars stay where it’s warm. But as the weather gets nicer and the nights get longer, there are more opportunities for crime. All too often, it’s violent crime that sees the biggest spike.

This seasonal rise in violence can be accounted for by one main variable: that warmer weather brings people outside. Being outside brings people into contact with many more people than they would encounter inside all day, and social encounters bring about crime. Being out at parties, and bars, and even just walking down the street, all create opportunities for street crime and violent crime to occur. Many of these shootings in Chicago begin as arguments at parties or bars. Someone takes it too far, and people get shot.

School is Out

A second possible explanation for the rise in crime during the warmer months is that schools are out. More young people with nothing to entertain them can lead to a rise in the crime rate. We see many more street fights and battery cases involving teenagers during the summer than during the winter. They are out of school, and sometimes boredom can lead to drug use, excessive drinking and fights.

There are plenty of ways to combat boredom and stay out of trouble. For the athletes out there, join a recreational sports league with some of your friends. Not only will it keep you out of trouble, but you’ll have fun and stay in shape.

If you’re not into sports but are interested in having some summer spending money, check out the City of Chicago’s Youth Job Resource page. Working part-time in the summer can put some extra money in your pocket, which can help cut into future college expenses, or you can simply save up for a shopping spree. Whatever you decide to do, stay active and make good choices. Hopefully you’ll never need our services, but if you do, we’re here for you.

Decades Old Murder Conviction Reversed in Cook County

Conviction overturnedLate last week, Cook County prosecutors agreed to drop the decades old murder conviction and life sentence of a Chicago man after new evidence emerged suggesting he was innocent.

Deon Patrick, 42, was released from prison on Friday after prosecutors agreed that the case against him was flawed because it was based on questionable confessions.

The Case In Question

The case and subsequent conviction revolved around the November 1992 murders of Jeffery Lassiter and Sharon Haugabook. Patrick was one of eight men charged with murder in connection with the incident. When police grilled the men about the killings, each accused member implicated a different person as the triggerman, while Patrick remained adamant that he was innocent.

Patrick spent 30 hours in custody being interrogated about the incident, and he eventually signed a written confession that was drafted by the state prosecutor. While the signed confession made up a large portion of evidence against Patrick at the trial, it was the testimony of another accused member that sunk Patrick’s proverbial ship. Daniel Taylor provided a lengthy court-reported confession at trial that stated Patrick had shot both Lassiter and Haugabook.

The judge eventually sentenced five of the eight men to prison, and three of them were given life sentences, Patrick being one of them.

Truth Comes Out

In 2001, as part of an investigative series called “Cops and Confessions,” the Chicago Tribune uncovered evidence that Taylor was actually in police custody during the time of the murders. Police records show that Taylor had been arrested two hours before the murders, and he wasn’t released until an hour after the killings.

Based on the new evidence, prosecutors agreed to release Taylor from prison in June of 2013, saying it was done in the interest of justice.

Patrick’s attorneys attempted to secure release for their client based upon the fact that if Taylor was locked up during the murders, he couldn’t have definitively known who pulled the trigger.

Taylor’s release prompted a months-long review of Patrick’s case. Prosecutors listened to new arguments at a hearing last month, but they still refused to drop the charges. On Friday, the prosecutors reversed their stance.

Sean Sullivan comments

It sounds like there were serious holes in the prosecution’s case against this man.

When people ask me why I am a defense attorney, I tell them it is because of cases like this. People like to think that everyone convicted is actually guilty, but that is not always the case. Sometimes innocent people go to jail for crimes they could not have committed, or they fall victim to false testimony.

That’s why I am a defense attorney. To see that innocent people never go to jail for a crime they did not commit.

Related source: Chicago Tribune