Thu June 14, 2012
Wisconsin's violent crimes continue to drop
There were fewer violent crimes reported in Wisconsin last year than in 2010, mirroring a national trend of declining crimes. The number of murders in Wisconsin was the lowest since 1983.
Each year the FBI releases its Crime in America Report. It compiles data from more than 14,000 law enforcement agencies. The national report shows that aggravated assault, robbery and forcible rape dropped by 4% in 2011 while murders were down about 2%. In Wisconsin, data from the Office of Justice Assistance shows that aggravated assaults were down 8%, rape was down 3%, while robbery increased slightly. Spokeswoman Tammi Jackson at OJA says there are a lot of variables that have to be considered when assessing what’s going on in the community. “One, for example, is the presence of criminality,” she says. “Are folks that are committing crimes actually living in the community? People are very mobile these days, they move along. Also, you have law enforcement that’s getting better at employing targeted strategies to fight crimes.”
The biggest drop came in the murder category. In 2011 there were 135: 14% less than the year before and the lowest number in 28 years. But Jackson says what the data collected by OJA and the FBI doesn’t tell us is why. “It isn’t case specific; it doesn’t tell you lots of things that might influence the presence or absence criminal behavior in a community.”
Jackson says the state’s crime data is set to be released in late summer.