Hyde Park Crime Rates Hold Steady; Slight Increase in Violent Crime

According to CPD data, although the total number of crimes reported in Hyde Park in 2017 is on par with 2016, more violent crimes were reported this year.

By Tony Brooks, News Editor

According to data from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) 1,703 reported crimes were committed in Hyde Park in 2017, on par with the 1,759 crimes committed in 2016, though the number of violent crimes increased slightly.

There were 331 violent crimes (homicide, criminal sexual assault, robbery, and battery) recorded in 2017, compared to 273 in 2016. 23 cases of sexual assault were recorded in 2017, while nine incidents were logged in 2016. There was a four percent increase in robbery incidents, and a 24 percent increase in incidents of battery.

Burglary and theft, including motor vehicle theft, decreased slightly in 2017, with 789 reported incidents compared to 811 the previous year. Other nonviolent crimes, such as fraud and property damage, decreased more significantly, from 399 to 297.

There was a spike in robberies around Halloween, with six total on October 30 and 31, and two more occurring during the week leading up to the holiday. During this time period, the University sent four security alerts.

Over the last several years, the number of security alerts e-mailed out by the University has increased significantly. In 2015, 14 security alerts were sent; this number doubled to 28 in 2016. In 2017, it climbed to 36.

“The security alerts, first and foremost, are not required,” University spokesperson Marielle Sainvilus told The Maroon, “They are not tied to whether or not there is an increase in crime in the area.”

According to Sainvilus, it is part of University policy to send safety alerts if a crime presents a continued threat, such as one that seems as if it fits a pattern.

“We do not send them if we think they’re going to interfere with Chicago Police Department investigations,” Sainvilus said. “Once CPD comes to the scene, it’s their case.”

Hyde Park saw fewer incidents of crime in 2017 than the neighboring communities of Washington Park and Woodlawn, which saw 2,698 and 3,808 reported crimes, respectively. Kenwood, with 1,506, had slightly fewer crimes than Hyde Park.

Crime in Chicago dropped overall, but especially notable was the number of homicides this past year. Homicides spiked at 762 in 2016, the highest since 1996 when there were 789. The number dropped down to 665 in 2017. This is, however, still significantly higher than pre-2016 levels, which averaged fewer than 500. Hyde Park has been largely unaffected by this spike, recording only one homicide in 2017.