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Crime Rates

SCMPD CruiserIs crime at an all-time high?

Overall Part 1 crime has increased slightly each of the past three years in the SCMPD jurisdiction. Importantly, however, those three years saw the lowest levels of both violent and property crime over the past four decades.

What does this mean? While Part 1 crime increased 1.3% between 2013 and 2014, it was still 41% below the total we saw 30 years ago, even as the overall population in Savannah-Chatham increased 32% over that time period. Last year’s Part 1 crime total was 38% below the total 20 years ago, and 27% below the total of a decade ago (see charts below).

We’re also solving more crimes. For the past five years Savannah-Chatham’s clearance rate has been above the national average. For the previous five years it was below the national average. 

This is not to minimize the crime problem in Savannah. Gun violence, in particular, continues to be a major issue on our streets. The Savannah-Chatham jurisdiction recorded 190 aggravated assaults committed with a gun in 2014 – the highest total in a decade. And we are on pace to have more gun-related crimes committed in 2015 vs. 2014. Part 1 crime on Sept. 12, 2015, was 10% above the same time period 2014, including a 20% increase in violent crime. (View weekly crime stats HERE)

Most of these incidents involve young men – often gang members – in dispute with one another over drugs or other matters. Changing this culture of violence, which has been with us for 40 years, will take the entire community.  

The City of Savannah this summer signed a contract with the National Network for Safe Communities, led by renowned criminologist David Kennedy, to help us develop a community-based strategy called Stop Gun Violence: Step Forward to reduce violent crime by targeting gang members and other high-risk individuals. This strategy has been implemented with great success in other communities, such as Boston, New York City, and High Point, N.C. (read about the organization).

This is just one of a number of new strategies being implemented by new Police Chief Jack Lumpkin, who is focusing on technology and data, community-oriented policing, and fully staffing our ranks to drive down crime. On Aug. 21, a new pay scale was implemented in SCMPD that will make our department among the best-paid police departments in the Southeast. This should help our department recruit a better force, and retain high-achieving officers.  

Below is some historic crime data.

Part 1 Crime.png

PART 1 CRIMES – SAVANNAH-CHATHAM JURISDICTION

      Year

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Violent

1460

1242

1176

1316

1797

1825

1560

1750

1736

1658

1791

1460

1379

1603

1638

1792

1417

1257

1255

1390

1184

1319

1285

1128

843

889

878

851

926

Property

 

14628

 

12990

 

12655

 

13887

 

14673

 

15176

 

14864

 

14478

 

13681

 

13522

 

14786

 

13378

 

13031

 

12627

 

12073

 

13211

 

13020

 

11995

 

11581

 

11671

 

9924

 

9851

 

11250

 

10654

 

9202

 

9579

 

8325

8458

8507

 

 

 

Total

16088

14232

13831

15203

16470

17001

16424

16228

15417

15180

16577

14838

14410

14230

13711

15003

14437

13252

12836

13061

11108

11170

12535

11782

10045

10468

9203

9309

9433

 

HOMICIDES: SAVANNAH-CHATHAM, 1985-2014

YEAR

HOMICIDES

YEAR

HOMICIDES

YEAR

HOMICIDES

1985

44

1995

31

2005

30

1986

35

1996

25

2006

29

1987

30

1997

30

2007

26

1988

25

1998

33

2008

26

1989

24

1999

41

2009

30

1990

39

2000

34

2010

20

1991

60

2001

35

2011

26

1992

27

2002

40

2012

23

1993

37

2003

36

2013

30

1994

32

2004

23

2014

32