The release of the 2017 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows that property crimes are on the decline in Kokomo. In the FBI’s UCR Program, property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
An analysis of the recently released data revealed:
- Theft is at a 23-year low with just 1,169 thefts in 2017, only the second time that number fell below 1,200 since 1995.
- Robbery saw a dramatic decline from 2016 to 2017, dropping from 84 to 48 – the lowest number since 2014. That represents a 43% decrease in one year.
- Burglary dropped 13% with only 413 reported in 2017 and is at its lowest number since 2000.
- Murder and Rape numbers have remained consistent.
- The FBI broadened the definition of Rape in 2012, which corresponds with the increase of reported sexual assaults in the five years since.
Kokomo Police Chief Rob Baker said there are several things to consider when examining the crime numbers.
“The important thing to remember is the FBI has changed how it tracks and defines some of the crime data,” Baker said. “For example, they redefined rape in 2012, so now some sexual assaults that weren’t previously considered rape are now classified as such.”
Mayor Greg Goodnight echoed Baker’s thoughts, pointing out that a change in culture, especially in the last year nationally, has had a positive effect.
“Hopefully more people are empowered to come forward and report a sexual assault,” Goodnight said. “In the past there were many such attacks that went unreported. That is changing as we see in the news. People are standing up to their attackers and reporting the crimes.”
Baker also pointed to how Aggravated and Simple Assaults are classified, beginning in 2014. The change resulted in a higher number that didn’t accurately represent the actual trend in the crime. The offenses of Harassment, Intimidation and Resisting Law Enforcement are all now classified as Simple Assaults. Simple Assaults are misdemeanors while Aggravated Assaults are more serious, usually involving a weapon.
2017 Structure Fires
In 2017 the majority of structures fires handled by the Kokomo Fire Department involved dollar losses less than $10,000. Losses in 39 fires averaged $3,000 or less. Only 51 fires involved dollar loss of $11,000 or more, with the majority (14) being between $11,000 and $20,000.
The total number of structure fires total 106, only three more than in 2016.
2017 Crime Statistics (.pdf)