Chicago sees total crime drop, but most-violent crimes up over decade
2022 marked a decade-high number of assaults and motor vehicle thefts in Chicago while arrest rates plummeted to their lowest level in 10 years. The first eight months of 2023 has not been much better, with a 13% increase in overall crime.
Chicagoans reported 29% fewer crimes in 2022 than a decade earlier, but there were troubling spikes in violent crimes: assaults and motor vehicle thefts rose to their highest levels in a decade, and homicides were near a peak.
More troubling still: Chicago Police Department arrest rates fell to their lowest level in a decade during 2022. Less than 12% of all reported crimes resulted in an arrest, when the average was 22% during the decade. Police data shows these low arrest rates persisted through August of 2023.
There was also a 13% increase in total crime citywide during the first eight months of 2023 compared to the same period a year earlier.
Chicago crime stats since 2012 show how these trends have changed, what types of crimes have become more prevalent and whether the city is successfully catching offenders.
Cases of burglary, robbery, theft and battery all declined during the decade. Theft was the most common crime and was nearly one of every four crimes reported in 2022.
Homicides, motor vehicle thefts and assaults all rose during the decade, with homicides up 41%. 2021 was Chicago’s deadliest year in the past 25 years.
Chicago Police Department arrest rates were the lowest in a decade during 2022. Less than 12% of the 238,722 crime reports resulted in arrests. Police made more than three times as many arrests a decade ago: 90,664 in 2012 compared to 27,711 in 2022.
Chicagoans reported 13% more crime overall in the first eight months of 2023 than from January through August of 2022, with cases of theft, assault, battery, robbery and motor vehicle theft all on the rise.
If the trend holds, 2023 total crime will surpass 2022 numbers. Motor vehicle thefts and assaults would also exceed their 10-year highs reported in 2022.
Addressing rising crime in Chicago starts with reducing the police officer shortage, providing adequate resources for judges determining whether to release or hold people ahead of trial, and ensuring witness protection so police are able to obtain vital information needed to identify and pursue criminals.