ANESVILLE—Residents of Janesville were half as likely to be the victims of crime in 2015 as they were 20 years earlier.
The Janesville Police Department released its 2015 crime statistics Tuesday. A highlight is a drop in the crime rate over 20 years.
The national and state crime rates are dropping, too, but Janesville’s rate is dropping faster, Police Chief Dave Moore noted.
Last year, 14 peer cities—the likes of Green Bay, Racine and Wauwatosa—had an average crime rate lower than Janesville’s: 2,919 per 100,000 population, compared with Janesville’s 3,251.
Moore cautioned that the figures for other cities are preliminary.
The lowest crime rates among peer cities were Appleton and Waukesha, with rates below 2,000. The highest were West Allis and La Crosse, with rates higher than 4,000. Beloit’s was 3,588.
Moore credits a pro-active approach to policing for some of the improvement in the crime rate. Examples include officers assigned to reach out to heroin addicts, to owners of nuisance properties, to gang members and to the high-risk mentally ill.
The 2015 report also showed:
— No homicides in 2015, compared with one a year earlier.
— 14 “forcible rapes” in 2015, down from 23.
— 25 robberies, down from 28
— 108 aggravated assaults, down from 110.
— 279 burglaries, down from 303.
— 1,579 thefts, down from 1,726.
— 55 vehicle thefts, up from 47.
— Five arsons, down from 12.
Moore said he was pleasantly surprised the crime rate continues to improve, even in the face of a heroin epidemic that tends to drive up thefts, burglaries and other property crimes as addicts look for things to steal and sell to feed their habits.
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