Aug. 7, 2013 - Oak Park Police are reporting a decline in crime through the first six months of 2013, a decrease they attribute to the continued vigilance of citizens who take an active role in eliminating opportunities for crime and reporting suspicious activity.
The number of crimes reported from January through June of this year was down 8 percent as compared to the same period last year. Arrests are up so far this year as well, including a 30 percent increase in arrests for robberies and a 36 percent increase in aggravated assault arrests - click here to see the data.
“Police rely on citizens to take an active role in helping to prevent crime,” said Oak Park Police Chief Rick C. Tanksley. “Oak Park residents understand the importance of taking steps to reduce the number of crimes of opportunity that dominate our statistics, like garage burglaries and bicycle thefts.”
Citizens also have shown a willingness to report activity in their neighborhoods that seems out of the ordinary, according to Tanksley who said, “I believe active citizen involvement is reflected in the numbers not only so far this year, but over the past several years as our overall rate has continued to decline significantly.”
Through June of this year, some 811 crimes were reported, as compared to 880 for the same period in 2012. Thefts, which represent about 65 percent of the 2013 crimes, were down significantly – 541 in 2013 compared to 605 in 2012.
Burglary incidents continue to trend downward, according to the police statistics, with 174 burglaries reported so far this year, compared to 196 in 2012. More than 50 percent of the reported burglaries were to garages, with more than half involving unsecured doors, officials say.
Police had investigated 21 aggravated assault and battery reports through June of this year, compared to 14 in 2012, a reminder Police say that serious crimes do still occur, but in small numbers considering Oak Park shares a border with the nation’s third largest city.
Oak Park Police compile data under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting index, a system used by law enforcement agencies to collect and report statistics, with a focus on what are considered the most serious offenses – murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault/battery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Through June, Police had responded to more than 16,400 calls for service, the majority of which were categorized as medium or low-priority calls, such as accidents with no injuries. When a high priority call is received, on average Oak Park Police arrive on the scene in about three and a half minutes.
For more information about neighborhood crime prevention, residents are urged to talk to their Resident Beat Officer – click here for contact information.