Aurora crime rates plunge to lowest ever recorded

Reported major crime in Illinois’ second largest city reached an all-time low in 2013, according to final crime statistics released last week by the Aurora Police.

Spurred by a property crime reduction of almost 17% including a burglary reduction of just under 39%, the lowest number ever recorded in the City – Aurora’s crime rate per 100,000 population plummeted 13.47% over 2012 and 38.77 % in the past 10 years.

“The safety of a community influences everything else: quality of life, housing, economic development, and tourism”, said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “I applaud the men and women of the Aurora Police and the entire community for working together to assure a bright future for everyone who calls Aurora home.”

“Because of the hard work of all of our officers and support personnel, our partnerships with other law enforcement agencies at all levels, spearheading efforts to stay on top of technology and implementing new city ordinances; less people than ever have been victimized by crime in Aurora”, said Chief of Police Greg Thomas. “We will continue these and other initiatives in the future as the Aurora Police continue to do their part to keeping everyone safe.”

Major crimes, known more commonly as “Part One Index Crimes”, include the violent crime categories of murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault/battery; and the property crime categories of burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Major decreases were recorded across all property crime categories (Burglaries -38.98%; Theft -8.26%; Motor Vehicle Theft -11.90%; Arson -31.03%) as well as the violent crimes of criminal sexual assault (-15.38%) and robbery (-5.60%).

Aurora’s total crime rate per 100,000 population in 2013 was 1799.1 compared to 2079.2 in 2012. Total major crimes reported in the City were 3,597 last year compared to 4,157 the previous year. 

“Five hundred and 60 less people were crime victims last year”, said Chief Thomas. “While we are pleased with these results, we are committed to constantly improving them.”

Long-term crime trends as measured by the City’s crime rate per 100,000 population continued to tumble in all of the major crime categories.  Violent crime is down 26.74% over 5 years, 40.01% over 10 years, and 64.41% over 20 years.  Over the same periods, property crime is down 36.05%, 52.92%, and 72.57%.  Overall crime is down in Aurora by 34.66% since 2008; 51.17% since 2003; and 71.48% since 1993.

The crime statistics are known as Uniform Crime Report numbers (UCRs) and are submitted to the FBI, Illinois State Police, and other agencies for official crime reporting purposes.


Other statistics released by Aurora Police last week included:

*  10,654 total arrests in 2013 compared to 11,334 in 2012. The drop in arrests is attributable to many factors, said Chief Thomas, including the drop in crime equating to less arrests and new initiatives such as the Crisis Intervention Team. The C.I.T. is a group of specially-trained officers who deal with calls for service involving psychologically-challenged subjects. Their goal is to find proper treatment for these individuals rather than arresting them.

*  1299 drug-related arrests, eight fewer than in 2012. While the overwhelming majority of the arrests were cannabis-related, 39 of the offenses involved heroin— a 22% increase over 2012 and an 86% increase compared to five years ago. 

*  Domestic Violence-related assaults and batteries continued a downward trend last year. They were down 5% when comparing 2013 to 2012 and are down 23.7% since 2007. Aurora Police have three full-time detectives dedicated to the investigation of domestic violence crimes.

*  Aggravated assaults and batteries increased 13.94% last year, and will be one area that will be targeted by Aurora Police this year.

*  The 601 total violent crimes committed in 2013 were 38 more than in 2012, an increase of 6.75%.

*  After a murder free year in 2012, three murders were reported in 2013. Two of the three murders were attributed to domestic violence and the other appears to be narcotics-related.

*  Firearm discharges were up to 74 last year compared to 59 in 2012. Seventy-six percent of the shootings did not result in injuries and one of the three murders last year involved a firearm. Aurora Police have set a goal to reduce shootings by 10% this year.

*  Traffic Crashes increased 15.1% in 2013 to 5487. Much of the increase was due to the early onset of winter weather. Traffic enforcement numbers were also up with increases in the number of stops, citations, and warning tickets issued by officers. The number of crashes had decreased 18% when comparing the five-year trends of 2009 to 2013 vs. 2004 to 2008.

*  Calls for service increased to 155,876 last year compared to 155,526 in 2012.


–News Bulletin news sources