CRIME DROPS IN 2019; VIOLENT CRIME DOWN FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

CRIME DROPS IN 2019; VIOLENT CRIME DOWN FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

MEMPHIS – The University of Memphis Public Safety Institute and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission released preliminary figures from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for 2019 (January-December) which show across the board declines in Memphis and Shelby County in major violent crime, major property crime, domestic violence, and overall crime.

Reported major violent crime declined for the second straight year.  Reported robberies were down 20.8 percent in Memphis and 20.0 percent countywide. Reported rapes dropped as well, by 15.6 percent in Memphis and 14.8 percent in all of Shelby County. The major violent crime figure includes murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.

All major violent crime declined 4.1 percent in Memphis and 4.7 percent throughout the county compared to 2018. (In 2018, major violent crime dropped 4.2 percent in Memphis and 3.6 percent throughout Shelby County compared to 2017.)                                                                                                                                          

The major property crime figure includes burglaries, motor vehicle thefts, and other felony thefts. Major property crime dropped 6.3 percent in Memphis and 6.9 percent countywide compared to last year. Declines occurred in all three categories, including significant declines in reported burglaries – down 11.8 percent in Memphis and 12.7 percent countywide.

An encouraging decline in reported domestic violence which began in 2018 continued, with a reduction of 5.0 percent in Memphis and a 4.5 percent drop countywide.

The overall crime rate is determined by using reported crimes in 54 different categories (called Group A crimes by the TBI). For the second straight year, the overall crime rate dropped, with a decline of 5.5 percent in Memphis and 6.1 percent countywide.

“Overall, the 2019 figures are very encouraging. We are moving in the right direction. We still have a crime rate that is too high, including too many murders and too much gun violence. We have a good Safe Community Plan. It is critical that we maintain the momentum in 2020 and continue moving in the right direction,” said Bill Gibbons, Crime Commission president, and Public Safety Institute executive director.

More detailed information on local crime trends are available on the Crime Commission stats here.

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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 Safe Community Plan and its partners. It is funded through the generous contributions of many private sector donors. Ben Adams, chairman emeritus of Baker Donelson law firm, serves as chair of the board, and Bill Gibbons serves as president of the Commission.

About the Safe Community Plan (www.memphiscrime.org): Launched in 2007, the Safe Community Plan, an action plan spearheaded by the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, is a community-based crime reduction initiative. Implementation of the Safe Community 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 2019 TBI figures are preliminary.
2 The 2019 figure is a decrease of 7.6 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 4.1 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
3 The 2019 figure is a decrease of 9.8 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 4.7 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 2019 TBI figures are preliminary.
2 The 2019 figure is a decrease of 29.6 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 6.3 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
3 The 2019 figure is a decrease of 31.4 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 6.9 percent from 2018 in all of Shelby County.

1 Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The 2019 TBI figures are preliminary.
2 The 2019 figure is a decrease of 14.9 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 5.0 percent from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
3 The 2019 figure is a decrease of 16.0 percent from 2006 and a decrease of 4.5 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 2019 TBI figures are preliminary.
2 The 2019 figure is a 22.6 percent decrease from 2006 and a 5.5 percent decrease from 2018 in the city of Memphis.
3 The 2018 figure is a 24.7 percent decrease from 2006 and a 6.1 percent decrease from 2018 for all of Shelby County.

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