INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (Jan. 22, 2014)--The Indianapolis Department of Public Safety released new crime statistics.
The data shows that homicides have increased from 96 in 2012, to 125 in 2013 to 135 homicides in 2014. However, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs suggests looking at the whole picture.
“We've actually had fewer people shot in 2013 and fewer people shot in 2014 than we did in 2012,” said Riggs.
He is referring to the total number of people involved in homicides and non-fatal shootings. In 2012 there were 546 victims of homicide and non-fatal shootings, and in 2014 there have been 521 homicide/non-fatal shooting victims.
“We didn't get to 135 homicides overnight, it was decades in the making, and it’s going to be some time to get back where we need to be,”said Riggs.
Rachel Cooper, president of the Southeast Community Organization works hard to keep her neighborhood safe--she was even recognized as the ‘Crime fighter of the year.’
“I can tell you every crime that happened here on the south side, I can tell you where it happened and when it happened,” said Cooper.
If you walk the streets with Cooper, it’s clear to see that she is serious about protecting her community.
“We've taken back the neighborhood,” said Cooper
However, the new data has the ‘crime fighter’ concerned.
“I've been involved in neighborhoods for over 20 years and I've never seen it so bad,” said Cooper.
Riggs has his theory on why the homicides numbers are up--and he says the data supports it.
“We have hardened criminals getting out of prison committing these crimes and we believe they are killing potential witnesses,” said Riggs.
Riggs points to the high percentage of suspects and victims who have previous criminal records.
“We are still concerned about some of the violent crime and we are really concerned when you look at homicides that we have had such an increase of suspects with criminal histories,” said Riggs.
Homicides, aggravated assault and robbery are all on the rise, while burglary, larceny, vehicle larceny, car theft and rape are all trending down.