FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Mayor Tom Henry joined with the city’s police chief to tout a drop in violent crime in the first half of the year. According to Chief Steve Reed, violent crimes are down nearly 50% in 2021, compared to the same timeframe in 2020.
On Monday, the mayor’s office shared other statistics tracked between January 1 and July 31.
While the drop in violent crime can be considered significant, the biggest change in the numbers came in sexual assaults. The city reported a 57% rise in sexual assaults. According to Reed, the department believes cases were underreported as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of cases, 82, is similar to the 85 reported in 2019 and 90 in 2018.
According to the mayor’s office, the department has hit a 70% clearance rate for homicides, meaning someone has been charged, the act was considered to be self-defense or the victim was a person of interest in a separate homicide.
While homicides dropped by 46%, non-fatal shootings were up 22% compared to last year. Chief Reed noted Monday that arrests for possession of a handgun without a license have been on the rise, with 50% more arrests made. 518 guns have been collected by police so far in 2021.