Decatur saw a 10 percent drop in crime in 2014, stats show

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 21, 2015
Decatur Police Officers compare notes in the parking lot of Decatur High. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Decatur Police Officers compare notes in the parking lot of Decatur High. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Decatur Police have released the preliminary numbers for December, and they show a 10 percent drop in crimes for all of 2014 compared to 2013.

The numbers reflect a continuing trend, both locally and nationally, of dropping crime rates. Decatur tracks crimes via Uniform Crime Reports of Part 1 offenses, the crimes most likely to be reported to police like burglary and robbery. Crime in the late 80’s early 90’s was mindbogglingly high. There were 328 violent crimes reported in 1989 alone, including six murders, 17 rapes and 143 robberies.

Much has changed since then. Crime hit a historic low in 2011, with just 29 violent crimes reported, an 91 percent decrease from 1989.

The pace has picked up since then and 2013 was definitely an uptick. There were 818 Part 1 crimes reported, with about 40 violent crimes. Overall crime was up 18.4 percent in 2013 compared with 2012. The increase in crime resulted in tense meetings and was dubbed a “crime wave” by residents and the media.

For the purposes of this story, we are excluding the number of simple assaults, which is tracked by Decatur Police but is a crime that doesn’t result in significant bodily harm.

The 2013 wave appears to have ebbed a bit in 2014. Violent crime decreased by 20 percent, and crime overall crime has dropped by 10.4 percent.

Here are the tables comparing 2013 and 2014 data.

CrimeTablesFor a more detailed analysis of this issue, check out our breakdown of stats during the 2013 “crime wave.”


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Hans

    The right way to make this comparison is at crime-level data over a 5-10 year window…we have dropped from 2013 because 2013 had an anomalous spike in burglaries due to the activity of a (likely) single gang that targeted our area. Nice that the numbers are down, but it was virtually a given once they chased off the guys doing the burglaries in the first place.

    • Steve

      I think if you analyze the long term, you will see the trend is steady or declining.

      • Hans

        no doubt…my point is that it is not particularly helpful to compare overall totals over a single year. For example: yes, all together it is 10% down (actually 11%, but hey). That hides the fact that burglaries are down 35%, robberies down a whopping 40%, but motor vehicle theft up about 26%. Larceny, almost surely from auto, drives the bulk of the crime numbers and tends to conceal much more interesting (and actionable) trends.

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