Friday, May 6, 2011

Indianapolis Crime Rates vs. Top Ten Cities By Population

As regular readers of this blog know, I like to gather data in order to look at a variety of issues.  While on the campaign trail, I wanted to get a better grasp on how hopeful we could be as a City, that crime could be diminished.  To do that, I looked at crime rates for Indianapolis compared with the rates in the top ten US Cities by population.

The data originated with the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, which categorizes crime in ten broad areas: total violent crime, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, total property crime, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.  The FBI warns against rating cities by crime rates, and I believe I am avoiding that - you can judge for yourself as this entry proceeds.

The data are from 2009, the last full calendar year for which the FBI has released its Uniform Crime Report.  While Evansville, Fort Wayne, and South Bend crime stats are reported by the FBI for January-June 2010, Indianapolis is missing from the list for some reason.

I looked at the Indianapolis crime rate for each of the ten broad categories of crime, compared with the top ten US Cities by population in 2009 (Indianapolis was listed as the 14th most populous City in that report).  I then simply noted the number of top ten Cities with a rate higher than Indianapolis.  The top ten Cities were:

New York, NY (8,400,907)
Los Angeles, CA (3,848,776)
Chicago, IL (2,848,431)
Houston, TX (2,273,771)
Phoenix, AZ (1,597,397)
Philadelphia, PA (1,547,605)
Las Vegas, NY (1,377,282)
San Antonio, TX (1,373,936)
San Diego, CA (1,314,773)
Dallas, TX (1,290,266)

with Indianapolis weighing in at 813,471 people

Here are the Number of top ten US Cities (by population) with rate of crime higher than Indianapolis in 2009:

Total Violent Crime : 2
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter : 4
Forcible Rape : 1 (and one not reporting)
Robbery : 3
Aggravated Assault : 0
Total Property Crime : 1
Burglary : 0
Larceny-theft : 1
Motor Vehicle Theft : 6
Arson : 1 (and one not reporting)

Interestingly enough, New York and Los Angeles were the only two Cities with lower crime rates than Indianapolis in all categories.  None of the top ten Cities had a higher rate in more than half the categories.

For me, this indicates that we should be able to bring down our crime rate in all of these categories (with the possible exception of motor vehicle theft), and that we have something to learn from other Cities.


Anonymous said...

I am very interested in your blog. Specifically, I am interested in issues within IMPD and between IMPD and the MCSD. I have interviewed several metro officers. I am not hearing much on the news regarding the case of officer Bisard. I am wondering if the agency is playing hide the ball. Can you direct me as to how I can gather information regarding Bisard and internal IMPD? Thanks

Anonymous said...

I find it fascinating that nearly 75% of homicides from last year were persons with a criminal history. I have always known offenders were more likely to become victims than any other group. What needs to be addressed is recidivism and solutions to prevent the criminal element in the city from killing one another.

T. Mercer said...

What's happening in neighboring Chicago? The murder rate this year is already astronomical..higher even than in NY City. For comparison value, I suppose Indy is doing much better, but population and demographics are higher and more diverse, respectively. At any rate, violent crime in this city is perpetuated by substance abuse, gang mentality, poverty and mental illness. Looking at it with a closer lense, it is a sad and perplexing dilemna.