Milwaukee crime decreases for seventh consecutive quarter

crime-graphicCrime in Milwaukee has decreased by 12.3 percent overall throughout the first nine months of 2009 compared with the first nine months of 2008.

These statistics mark a 14.5 percent decrease from 2007 to 2009, as well as the seventh consecutive quarter that crime in the city has decreased.

“This is a trend, not an anomaly,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn. “We are clearly disrupting a culture of impunity and we are returning the public spaces back to the residents where they can exert informal social controls and order can take root.”

Officials are particularly proud of the decrease in violent crimes, down 18 percent for the first nine months of 2009 compared to 2008 statistics. Violent crime figures include homicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery.

Among the decreases, aggravated assault experienced the largest reduction at 24 percent. Robbery saw a 12.5 percent decrease. Homicide numbers for the first nine months of 2008 and 2009 showed no change.

“Perhaps equally remarkable is the fact that we have 7,000 fewer victims of crime over the past two years,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Property crimes also experienced an impressive decrease in the first nine months of 2009. Property crimes — which include arson, theft, auto theft and burglary — decreased by 11.1 percent compared to the first nine months of 2008.

Auto theft decreased the most, 30.5 percent, followed by theft at 8 percent and burglary at 2.2 percent. The only types of crimes to increase were arson by 5.8 percent and rape by 2.6 percent.

The Milwaukee Police Department also celebrated some great successes in the third quarter of 2009. Most notably, MPD headed the investigation that led to the arrest of Walter Ellis — a man more commonly known as the “North Side Strangler.” MPD’s Homicide Task Force Cold Case Unit was able to connect Ellis to several murders, which spanned over a 21-year period.

Flynn said he believes the triumphs of the police department are a true testament to the department “community-based” policing, which focuses on working with the community to deter crime.

“When we say it’s community-based, we mean it,” Flynn said at a news conference. “We recognize that this police department needs the moral support and approval of all its citizens to be effective.”

Assistant director of Marquette’s Department of Public Safety, Paul Mascari, said DPS is very happy to see crime decrease for the seventh straight quarter in Milwaukee. He also encouraged the Milwaukee community to continue to work with MPD to create a safer neighborhood.

“It is important to remember that keeping our neighborhoods safe is a shared responsibility and cannot be accomplished solely by law enforcement,” Mascari said. “Members of the Marquette community should report suspicious activity to the Department of Public Safety, which works closely with the Milwaukee Police Department to keep the campus and surrounding area safe.”