2006 annual crime statistics show overall decline; murder and robbery rise slightly
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Police today announced the Illinois crime rate fell 2.1 percent in 2006, with reports of criminal sexual assault and motor vehicle theft realizing the biggest decreases. The number of murders and robberies increased from last year.
“All of law enforcement must remain diligent in its responsibility of keeping our communities safe,” said State Police Director Larry G. Trent. “Our goal continues to be a significant decrease in all of the reported offenses. The achievement of this goal requires constant evaluation and analysis of intelligence data regarding crime patterns. Intelligence-led public safety allows law enforcement to direct their limited resources in a unified manner to decrease crime.”
Law enforcement agencies throughout the state reported a total of 467,372 indexed crimes occurred last year, compared with 475,497 in 2005. The crime rate was down in six categories:
- Criminal Sexual Assault decreased 6.6%
- Motor Vehicle Theft decreased for the 7th consecutive year by 4.7%
- Arson decreased 3.6%
- Aggravated Assault and Battery decreased by 3.4%
- Theft and Burglary also showed decreases
For the first time in five years, the number of reported murders increased slightly and robbery increased for the second consecutive year by 1.9%.
The following is a breakdown of crime rates for areas throughout the state:
|Offenses (all crimes)|
|Suburban Cook County||-1.4%|
“As pleased as I am at the overall decrease in the crime rate, the Illinois State Police is committed to continuing to work with local law enforcement to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Illinois,” said Director Trent. “Improvements in communication technology have led to better information sharing and proactive policing among departments. In September 2006, Gov. Blagojevich announced the creation of a mutual aid program that will train 911 operators to handle the huge volume of emergency calls that come in during natural disasters and terrorism events, and then deploy those operators to areas in Illinois when they are needed.”
In addition, improvements in the field of forensic science continue to aid law enforcement in solving crimes in communities. A new Springfield Combined Laboratory addition, unveiled by Gov. Blagojevich in September 2006 and scheduled for completion in January 2008, will expand capabilities to serve vital homeland security and public safety functions. The state-of-the-art facility will allow the Illinois State Police to provide forensic services to 300 law enforcement agencies in 33 Central Illinois counties. Additionally, the Governor has proposed $33.5 million in his capital bill for the construction of a new Meto-East Forensic Lab in Belleville. “The Illinois State Police is devoted to dedicating the resources necessary to continue the decrease in the crime rate we have seen the last few years,” said Director Trent. “The Governor has given law enforcement the tools we need to combat crime and the criminals who choose to act in that manner.”
Gov. Blagojevich challenged emergency responders with three major exercises to respond to large scale emergencies from May – August 2006. The emergencies were designed to test the state’s ability to respond to critical incidents including an influenza pandemic, a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction, and a nuclear power plant accident. The exercises are designed to train top officials and first responders to develop a strategic response. The Governor praised the state’s performance in the large-scale exercises, saying the state’s commitment to preparedness, training and development of special response capabilities enabled Illinois to successfully tackle the challenging scenarios.
Additionally, law enforcement officials are becoming much more familiar with the capabilities of the Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Center (STIC) which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The state’s homeland security efforts have changed from not only focusing on response capabilities, but to include terrorism prevention. STIC analysts receive, analyze and distribute intelligence received from local, state and federal levels. To further improve the flow of information between state and federal sources, FBI analysts are now working with state analysts at the center.
View the complete Crime in Illinois 2006 Annual Uniform Crime Report