|SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois State Police today released 1999 crime statistics showing a decrease in statewide crime for the seventh time in the last eight years. Overall, the number of serious crimes reported in Illinois was down 7.8% from the year before. Violent crimes showed a 9.4% decrease, while property crimes declined 7.5%.|
Governor George H. Ryan said, The continued drop in crime is welcome news. Government leaders, criminal justice agencies, and citizens have played a role in this reduction through support of anti-crime measures. Recent passage of tough laws such as the new Safe Neighborhood Act, with its felony gun law provision, and the 15-20-Life Law, with its stiff sentences for using a gun in a crime, sends a message to criminals that we intend for this downward trend to continue.
As was the case last year, every category of violent crime showed improvement. Reports of robbery led the way, decreasing 11.9%. Aggravated assault and battery dropped 8.9%, murder decreased 7.9%, and criminal sexual assault declined 1.8%.
Among property crimes, reports of burglary dropped 11.7%, theft declined 7%, motor vehicle theft decreased 3.6%, and arson dropped 2.6%.
As in the rest of the state, Chicago saw a broad-based decline in nearly all categories among violent crimes. Robberies were off 11.5%, aggravated assault and battery declined 10.7%, murders dropped 8.7%, and criminal sexual assault decreased 4.7%. Among property crimes in Chicago, burglaries declined 15.8%, theft fell 8.1%, motor vehicle theft dropped 0.9%, and reports of arson rose 2.6%.
Downstate totals also reflected the downward trend as robbery declined 13.1%, aggravated assault and battery fell 6.4%, murder dropped 6%, and there was no change in the number of criminal sexual assaults reported. Downstate property crimes all showed improvement as burglaries dropped 9.2%, motor vehicle theft fell 7.2%, theft decreased 6.4%, and arson declined 5.8%.
A breakdown of other areas of the state show the decline was broad-based:
Offenses Reported (all crimes) Cook County -8.8% Suburban Cook County -8.5%
Collar Counties -6.5% Urban Counties -7.6%
Rural Counties -3.7%
Illinois State Police Director Sam W. Nolen said, Citizens and government working together deserve the credit for the reduction. More police on the streets, more prisons, and tougher sentences are major factors in driving the crime rate down in our communities. None of this would have happened without good leadership and citizen support.
Crime statistics are available on the Internet at the ISP website address, http://www.state.il.us/isp/ciiprs or by selecting Crime and Illinois Uniform Crime Reports from the Illinois State Police home page at http://www.state.il.us/isp