ROCKFORD – Rockford violent crime has increased 2% so far this year, fueled by gun crime and domestic violence.
Mayor Tom McNamara said during a news conference on Friday that the percentage increase was down slightly from the previous month, as a sign that the rise in violence that began with the pandemic may slow.
“We’re not where we need to be, but we started going in the right direction last month and now this month we’re continuing this trend that is moving in the right direction,” McNamara said to be and where the Residents deserve us. ”
McNamara reported that as of September this year there had been 1,710 violent crimes – grievous bodily harm, murder, rape and armed robbery. That’s 2% more than the 1,671 violent crimes reported in the same period in 2020.
As of September, 552 illegal shots had been fired in the city, 11% more than the 498 in 2020. And police continue to seize large numbers of illegal firearms flooding the streets of Rockford. Police have seized 360 firearms so far this year, 73% more than the 208 seized at the time last year.
While gang and gun crime remains a cause of violent crime in Rockford, data shows that 40.6% of violent crimes reported this year are related to domestic violence. That is 14.5 percentage points more than the previous year, when domestic violence accounted for 26.1% of violent crimes.
McNamara said the increased percentage of violent crimes attributed to domestic violence could be due to a combination of factors.
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This includes advances the city has made in providing services to survivors through the Rockford Family Peace Center, which is encouraging more victims to come forward. McNamara said officials expected domestic violence reports to increase as they put the spotlight on the issue and provided improved services.
There are also suspicions that the pandemic made it difficult for some victims to report domestic violence over the past year because they were stuck at home with a perpetrator.
“It’s really difficult to reach someone when they’re unemployed and stuck at home,” said McNamara.
Jeff Kolkey: [email protected]; @jeffkolkey