Major Violent Crime Continue to Decrease in Memphis, Shelby County
The Memphis Shelby Crime Commission recently released the countywide and city of Memphis crime statistics for August 2015.
The reported major violent crime rate for January-August 2015 was down 6 percent countywide and 5.4 percent in the city of Memphis, compared to the same period in 2014. The reported major violent crime rate was down 20.7 percent countywide and 16.4 percent in Memphis, compared to the same period in 2006, which is the baseline year for Operation: Safe Community. Major violent crimes include murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery.
Launched in 2007, Operation: Safe Community (memphisfastforward.com/publicsafety)), spearheaded by the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, is an historic crime reduction initiative involving an organized network of more than 100 partner organizations. It is the public safety pillar of Memphis Fast Forward, a shared vision and unprecedented action plan for improving economic prosperity and quality of life in Memphis and Shelby County. Memphis Fast Forward is co-chaired by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr., Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., and Gary Shorb, President and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare representing the CEOs group Memphis Tomorrow. Operation: Safe Community is chaired by Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.
The Memphis Shelby Crime Commission (www.memphiscrime.org) is an independent, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that “quarterbacks” the work of the Operation: Safe Community (OSC) plan and its partners. It is governed by a board comprised of 50 public and private sector leaders, most of whom are actively involved in leading various initiatives of the OSC plan. It is funded through the generous contributions of many private sector donors who want to see our community continue its crime reduction progress. Ben Adams, CEO of Baker Donelson law firm, serves as Chairman and Rick Masson is the Interim Executive Director.
The Operation: Safe Community monthly crime trends report uses data reported by local enforcement agencies to the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System, which was developed and is maintained by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. An incident is defined in TIBRS as “one or more offenses committed by the same offender, or group of offenders acting in concert, at the same time and place.” The domestic violence reported offenses however, uniquely refer to a victim count versus an incident count. All state and local law enforcement agencies must report crime data to TIBRS on a monthly basis. The crime categories used in the report are designed to parallel the categories used by the FBI in its annual UCR report. Richard Janikowski, Principal of Strategic City Solutions, produces the report for the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.
Other observations from the latest report include: Murder rates in Shelby County declined 5.2 percent for this time period over 2014 and 17.4 percent compared to 2006. In Memphis, the murder rate was down 4.2 percent over 2014 and 12.5 percent compared to 2006.
The major property crime rate also continued to decline. Countywide, the rate of major property crimes (burglaries, auto thefts, and other theft offenses) dropped 6.6 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 and 36.3 percent compared to 2006. In Memphis, the decline in 2015 compared to 2014 was 6.8 percent and 34.4 percent compared to 2006.
The reported domestic violence crime rate for January-July 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 was down 6.7 percent countywide and 6.9 percent in the city of Memphis. While data going back to 2006 is not available for reported domestic violence offenses, Operation: Safe Community in 2011 began tracking this crime category and uses it as a baseline year. Compared to the 2011 baseline year, the reported domestic violence crime rate was down 18.5 percent countywide and 19.2 percent in Memphis. Domestic violence offenses include homicides, all assaults, kidnapping/abduction, and all forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, based upon victim to offender relationships.
“While we continue to be vigilant and concerned about any crime impacting citizens of Memphis and Shelby County, the continuing declines in major violent crime, major property crime, and domestic violence are encouraging,” stated Shelby County District Attorney and Operation: Safe Community Chair Amy Weirich. “We are especially gratified that during a well-publicized spike in murders happening in major cities around the country this year, our community continues to see declines in this category.”