2014 Oak Park crime rate report receives lowest rating ever

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The 2014 Oak Park crime reports rating is the lowest it has ever been in the 42 years such data has been collected, according to the Illinois Uniform Crime Reporting Index.

1,665 crimes were investigated by police in 2014, down 7% from 2013. Theft and burglaries accounted for 90% percent of all reported crime, a trend that has continued for several years, according to the Oak Park Police Department.

There were no murders in the village in 2014. The last time a murder occurred in Oak Park was in 2011, according to Police Chief Rick C. Tanksley.

“Our 2014 statistics illustrate just how safe it is to live in our community. As in past years, the majority of criminal activity in Oak Park continues to be property crimes such as thefts and burglaries – most often garage burglaries,” said Tanksley.

The decline in criminal activity within Oak Park is likely tied to similar downward trends reported throughout the country, according to Tanksley. The Oak Park Police made 155 arrests in 2014, down from 224 in 2013. Roughly three quarters of all arrests were burglary, theft or assault charges, according to the report.

“The 2014 crime statistics reflect the collaboration of dedicated Police Officers and an active, engaged citizenry,” said Village Manager Cara Pavlicek. “Oak Park’s focus on policing at the neighborhood level has created an effective crime-fighting partnership that relies on the community’s support and active involvement with the law enforcement professionals who work to make our community safe. The success of this team effort is reflected in the data.”

“The fact that the overall rate is at its lowest level in years really doesn’t mean a lot to a victim of a crime or if there’s a continual nuisance in your neighborhood,” said Tanksley. “That’s why my officers, command staff and I continually strive to help residents feel safe by providing them the information they need to play a vital role in our crime-fighting initiatives.”

A brief synopsis of the Oak Park crime report:

  • Thefts remained the largest category of crimes. Roughly 1,088 thefts were reported in 2014, down from 1,148 in 2013.
  • Burglary was the second largest crime category. 395 cases were reported in 2014, compared to 460 in 2013.
  • Police investigated 83 robberies in 2014, compared to 85 in 2013, 99 in 2012 and 106 in 2011.
  • No murders in 2014.
  • Five criminal sexual assaults were reported in 2014, the same as in 2013.
  • The 15 reports of aggravated assault/battery cases in 2014 was a 58 percent decline from the 36 cases investigated in 2013.
  • Four reports of arson reported in 2014, down from five in 2013.
  • Reports of 75 motor vehicle thefts were investigated in 2014, up from the 59 in 2013.
  • Police responded to 32,651 calls for service in 2014, compared to 33,155 in 2013. The average response time in 2014 was three minutes and 39 seconds for high priority calls; four minutes and 42 seconds for medium-priority calls such as accidents with no injuries; and six minutes and 20 seconds for low-priority calls.

Oak Park Crime Rate Index since 2000:

Year    Crimes

2000     2,455
2001      2,640
2002     2,554
2003     2,389
2004     2,664
2005     1,970
2006     2,022
2007     1,980
2008     2,066
2009     2,168
2010     1,904
2011      1,757
2012     1,967
2013     1,798
2014     1,665

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