Based on preliminary figures from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) released by the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, murders in Memphis were down 17.6 percent during the first three quarters of 2018 (January-September) compared to the same time period in 2017.
Reported robberies were down 12.4 percent, and reported rapes declined 18.2 percent.
For all of Shelby County, the declines were not quite as great, with a 14.5 percent drop in murders, an 11.3 percent decline in reported robberies, and a 16.6 percent decline in reported rapes.
Reported aggravated assaults increased slightly – by 1.9 percent in Memphis and 2.8 percent countywide. Because the overall major violent crime figure is calculated by the FBI and TBI as an aggregate number of all murders, robberies, rapes and aggravated assaults combined, the sheer volume of aggravated assaults drives the overall percentage of increase or decrease. Therefore, overall major violent crime declined by a lesser percentage – 3.0 percent in Memphis and 1.8 percent countywide – than that for murders, robberies and rapes.
A promising aspect of major property crime was the drop in reported burglaries compared to last year – a 10.1 percent decline in Memphis and an 8.1 percent drop throughout the county. Motor vehicle thefts continue to be a concern, with a 12.0 percent increase in Memphis and a 15.5 percent increase countywide.
In more encouraging news, reported domestic violence incidents continued to decline compared to last year, with a drop of 11.1 percent in Memphis and 9.8 percent in all of Shelby County.