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crime down in Chicago, Chicago Area Criminal Defense AttorneysPolice departments across the United States faced a large amount of criticism in 2015. America’s trust in our police forces was tested time and time again, thanks to the year’s many viral videos depicting police brutality, high profile cases, and questionable police department secrecy. Fortunately for the Chicago Police Department, things may be looking up in 2016.

A report recently released by the department shows that despite an increase in gun violence and gun related crime, overall crime in the city dropped for the fourth consecutive year. For a city that experienced the most homicides of any city in the United States in 2015, a drop in overall crime is very good news.

According to the department’s report, overall crime in the city dropped 6 percent from 2014. The report notes that robberies, assaults, burglaries, rapes, and thefts dropped significantly. Additionally, the report notes that violent crime fell substantially as well. In fact, the amount of violent crime that took place in Chicago in 2015 is the lowest the city has seen since the 1960’s. Since 2011, overall crime in Chicago has dropped 37 percent.

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Chicago pollution and crimeWe have long known that air pollution is not beneficial to humans. Particles in the air are neurological irritants and have effects on human comfort levels and behaviors. Being surrounded by and inhaling pollution can lead to antisocial behavior, lack of productivity, and lower levels of awareness and alertness. Aside from the many health risks, experts have wondered if pollution may have another effect on humans.

In a recent paper published by the National Bureau for Economic Research, two researchers say their findings indicate a link between violent crime and car pollution in Chicago. Could pollution be a factor that drives people to commit violent criminal acts?

Thanks to a large amount of data from the Chicago Police Department, the two researchers were able to examine more than 2 million cases of major crimes committed from 2001 to 2012. The researchers pinpointed the locations of each crime, and noted their proximity to major interstates crossing the city, such as the I-290.

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violent Chicago crimesCritics of tighter gun laws in America have frequently referred to the city of Chicago as an example of why gun laws are ineffective. Chicago has some of the strictest gun restrictions in the United States, yet still experiences abnormally high rates of gun related crime when compared to other cities. Gun rights supporters say this proves that tough gun laws do not truly keep guns out of the hands of criminals. A new report, however, shows that a large number of guns used in Chicago crimes crossed into the state from somewhere else.

Chicago has long grappled with high rates of gun violence. The Chicago Tribune reported that in 2014, 2,587 people were victims of gun violence. In comparison, New York City police recorded 1,381 victims over the same time period, and New York City has approximately three times the population of Chicago.

Despite Chicago’s tough gun restrictions, city officials say the problem exists because firearms remain widely available. Purchasing guns within the city is difficult, so how, with such tight regulations, are gun related crimes such a problem?

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violent crime, chicago crime, Chicago Criminal Defense LawyerIn a period of about 15 hours, beginning this past Monday night, 14 people were shot in the Chicago area, including six who were killed. The shootings come on the heels of two consecutive weekends in which more than 50 people were shot in the Windy City. More than 40 were shot during each of four consecutive weekends in August, as well. The rash of violent crime has not gone unnoticed by city officials, who are insistent that it is time to take action to get the violence back under control.

Sobering Statistics

According to Chicago Tribune estimates, some 2,300 shootings have been reported in the city of Chicago this year, up by nearly 400 from the same time last year. The number of homicides, through Sunday, stood at 359, a 21 percent jump from 2014, Chicago police data indicates. The problem, it seems, is not limited to Chicago, as homicides are on the rise in in major cities across the country, including Saint Louis, which is up 60 percent, Baltimore, up 56 percent, and a staggering 76 percent in Milwaukee. While the issue seem magnified when contrasted with last year’s near-record low homicide rates, there is little question that concern is certainly warranted.

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