A year after Cincinnati City Council declared the city’s gun violence a public health emergency, violent crime rates have reached a 10-year low.
The statsCincinnati Police Department Lieutenant Colonel Mike John went over 2022 violent crime statistics during a special meeting of the Climate, Environment and Infrastructure committee on Feb. 23. John told the committee that violent crime – which accounts for cases of homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – is up 3% in the U.S., but Cincinnati's 2022 numbers are down by 1.1% from the previous year.
“We’ve actually made some headway, which is encouraging,” John said.
John went on to point out that violent crime in Cincinnati is at a 10-year low, with 1,748 reported cases of violent crime in 2022, more than one thousand less than 2012.
CPD crime stats show 78 homicides, including non-gun-related deaths, happened in the city in 2022, down from the 94 homicides reported in 2021. Rapes ticked upward, though, going from 232 reported cases in 2021 to 293 in 2022. Robbery also increased slightly, with 647 cases in 2021 and 654 in 2022. Aggravated assault trended downward with 874 cases in 2021 and 801 in 2022.
West End was the top neighborhood for shooting victims in 2022 and 2021, with Over-the-Rhine (OTR) coming in second and Avondale in third. The graph shows OTR has the highest average number of shooting victims over a five-year period.
John emphasized that the clusters of violent crime are reflective of specific sections of neighborhoods, not the entire neighborhood area.
"West End, Other-the-Rhine, Avondale; there are pockets within these neighborhoods which are particularly challenging, so it's not a descriptor of the total neighborhood, but we certainly have very focused areas where the crime clusters," John said.
"I really didn't want to insult families and say that your family member is just a number to us. Your family is a person," he said.
"Disproportionally the majority of our victims are young healthy adults and teenagers. Gun violence does remain the third leading injury we see, it is second only to motor vehicle collisions and falls," Makley said. "We cannot ignore the pressing need to address the mental health issues that accompany gun violence, especially with victims of violence in suicide."
Makley mentioned a new program starting Feb. 24 that will connect victims of gun violence who leave UC Medical with people who can help them mentally recover and process the trauma that comes from gun violence.
Cincinnati City Council is considering expanding its free gun lock program to encourage more compliance with its recently passed gun storage law. On Feb. 8, council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring gun owners who live with children to lock up their weapons at home, either in a gun safe or locked box, or by placing a lock on the gun itself. The ordinance mentions the October shooting death of a three-year-old in Cincinnati. The child’s six-year-old brother reportedly shot and killed the toddler after finding a loaded gun in their home. The ordinance also mentions the death of an eight-year-old who shot and killed himself after finding a handgun in his house.
The ordinance also bars those convicted of domestic violence charges from owning a weapon.The domestic violence rule for gun ownership is already a federal law, but the new local law would allow Cincinnati’s legal department to prosecute. Conviction of either gun laws would result in a first degree misdemeanor, resulting in up to one year in jail. CPD's crime breakdown shows 21 people were shot and killed in a domestic violence dispute in 2022.
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