Violent crime in 2015 down overall in Evanston Police Department statistics

Nora Shelly, Assistant City Editor

Violent crime in Evanston for 2015 decreased compared to 2014, according to crime statistics released Thursday by Evanston Police Department.

The report — which listed the amount of “Part I” crimes, which include murder, sexual assault, theft and aggravated battery — said those crimes decreased by 5.1 percent last year.

Homicide numbers, however, increased from one homicide in 2014 to three in 2015. The report said the increase could be a result of ongoing feuds in the city.

“Homicides in Evanston generally have been linked to on-going rivalries and disputes between factions of individuals associated with illegal behavior,” the report stated. “Individuals who choose this risky lifestyle often procure firearms for protection and for use in committing illegal activity.”

Theft, which accounted for more than 70 percent of “Part I” crimes in 2015, decreased by 4 percent, while aggravated battery and assaults decreased by 17.2 percent, which the report said may be a result of the EPD’s efforts to target illegal firearms. A firearm recovery program the department ran recovered 123 firearms in 2015, compared to 88 recovered in 2014.

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