2019 Q1: First Quarter Crime Figures Show Declines in Most Categories

2019 Q1: First Quarter Crime Figures Show Declines in Most Categories

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis Public Safety Institute and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission released preliminary figures from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for the first quarter of 2019 (January – March) which show a significant drop in reported major property crimes in Memphis and Shelby County, as well as a decline in overall crime as measured by 54 different categories.

Reported major violent crime dropped slightly, driven by a very significant decline in reported robberies and a decline in reported rapes but offset somewhat by increases in reported aggravated assaults and murders.

Major property crimes include burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and other felony-level thefts. During the first quarter of the year, the major property crime rate dropped 9.4 percent in Memphis and 12.6 percent countywide compared to last year. Declines occurred in all three categories, with the most significant decline being a dramatic drop in reported motor vehicle thefts compared to the first quarter of 2018 – down 34.5 percent in Memphis and 35.4 percent countywide.

Major violent crimes include murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults. The rate of reported robberies declined significantly compared to the first quarter of last year – down 20.7 percent in Memphis and 20.4 percent countywide. Reported rapes dropped as well, by 4.8 percent in Memphis and 7.5 percent in all of Shelby County.

These declines were offset somewhat by increases in reported aggravated assaults (up 6.6 percent in Memphis and 6.1 percent countywide), along with an increase in murders (up 12.5 percent in Memphis and 9.1 percent countywide).

In total, the major violent crime rate dropped 0.3 percent in Memphis and 0.6 percent throughout Shelby County.

The overall crime rate is determined by using reported crimes in 54 different categories (called Group A crimes by the TBI). The overall crime rate dropped significantly in the first quarter of the year compared to last year – a decline of 7.7 percent in Memphis and 9.4 percent countywide.

“The dramatic reduction in auto thefts is especially encouraging,” said Bill Gibbons, executive director of the UofM Public Safety Institute and president of the Crime Commission. “Citizens are being more cautious about leaving their keys in their vehicles or leaving their vehicles unattended with the motors running. The message seems to be getting out that we shouldn’t make it easy for potential vehicle thieves.

“Obviously, the number of murder victims in our community remains unacceptable. Most murders involve individuals who know each other. It is difficult for law enforcement to impact personal disputes. It takes friends and family members as well. The significant reduction in reported robberies is especially encouraging. It is probably the random violent crime that concerns people the most on a day-to-day basis.”

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About the Crime Statistics: In measuring overall crime rates and trends, the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission and the Public Safety Institute use data reported by local enforcement agencies to the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS), which was developed and is maintained by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. An incident is defined in TIBRS as “one or more offenses committed by the same offender or group of offenders acting in concert, at the same time and place.” Reported major violent crime and domestic violence offenses, however, uniquely refer to a victim count versus an incident count. All rates are calculated based on per 100,000 population.

About the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission (www.memphiscrime.org): Memphis Shelby Crime Commission is an independent, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that “quarterbacks” the work of the Operation: Safe Community (OSC) plan and its partners. It is funded through the generous contributions of many private sector donors. Ben Adams, CEO of Baker Donelson law firm, serves as chair of the board, and Bill Gibbons serves as president of the Commission.

About Operation: Safe Community (www.operationsafecommunity.org): Launched in 2007, the Operation: Safe Community (OSC) action plan, spearheaded by the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, is a community-based crime reduction initiative. Implementation of the Operation: Safe Community action plan is chaired by Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.

About the Public Safety Institute (www.memphis.edu/psi): The Public Safety Institute of the University of Memphis is an interdisciplinary part of the University community committed to identifying and advancing best practices in the field of public safety. It is housed in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. Bill Gibbons serves as executive director.

  1. Includes murders, forcible rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The 2018 TBI figures are preliminary.
  2. The 2019 figure is a decrease of 7.9 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 0.3 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
  3. The 2019 figure is a decrease of 9.2 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 0.6 percent from 2018 in all of Shelby County.
  1. Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The 2018 TBI figures are preliminary.
  2. The 2019 figure is an increase of 14.8 percent from 2006 and an increase of 12.5 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
  3. The 2019 figure is an increase of 10.3 percent from 2006 and an increase of 9.1 percent from 2018 in all of Shelby County.
  1. Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The 2018 TBI figures are preliminary.
  2. The 2019 figure is a decrease of 56.1 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 20.7 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
  3. The 2019 figure is a decrease of 56.0 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 20.4 percent from 2018 in all of Shelby County.
  1. Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The 2018 TBI figures are preliminary.
  2. The 2019 figure is an increase of 26.6 percent from 2006 and an increase of 6.6 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis
  3. The 2019 figure is an increase of 22.5 percent from 2006 and an increase of 6.1 percent from 2018 in all of Shelby County.
  1. Includes burglaries, motor vehicle thefts, and other felony thefts. Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The 2018 TBI figures are preliminary.
  2. The 2019 figure is a decrease of 29.9 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 9.4 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
  3. The 2019 figure is a decrease of 33.1 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 12.6 percent from 2018 in all of Shelby County.
  1. The overall crime rate is measured by 54 separate types of “Group A crimes” tracked by the T.B.I. Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The 2018 TBI figures are preliminary.
  2. The 2019 figure is a 24.2 percent decrease from 2006 and a 7.7 percent decrease from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
  3. The 2018 figure is a 26.7percent decrease from 2006 and a 9.4 percent decrease from 2018 for all of Shelby County.

*Rates and population figures are based on 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2017 U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates. The latest estimates available, 2017 Estimates, are used to calculate the 2018 population estimates based on the UCR methodology which are then used for calculating the rates for 2018 and 2019.

Population:

20062011201620182019
920,106933,268937,130938,403938,403

*Rates and population figures are based on 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2017 U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates. The latest estimates available, 2017 Estimates, are used to calculate the 2018 population estimates based on the UCR methodology which are then used for calculating the rates for 2018 and 2019.

Population:

20062011201620182019
665,512655,407653,369652,413652,413

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