LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A breakdown of the latest statistics shared by police shows that Little Rock continues to contend with violent crime.
Officials with the Little Rock Police Department track crime types and rates, and the most recent of data showed while the overall number of violent crimes is down year to date for 2022, the numbers of homicides and robberies are up from the previous year.
The department’s July 11 report shows the number homicides for the year is 44, 10 more than at the same point in 2021. There has been an even greater increase in robbery rates, 233 cases so far in 2022 compared to 156 at the same point last year.
On a more positive aspect, LRPD officials reported that the city was seeing declines in the rate of rape and aggravated assault cases, with rape cases at 105, down 11 from 2021, and the number of aggravated assaults at 1,597, which is 140 lower than this time last year.
While authorities may be concerned with the increases in homicide and robbery cases, two pieces of data stand out that show those increases may not be the whole story.
A month-by-month analysis of the crime stats shows a spike of 13 homicide cases in April 2022. No other month this year has topped six cases, which shows how a single month can skew the statistics.
Robbery rates also showed a single-month spike, this time in May with 50 robberies. The other months of 2022 had robbery case totals ranging from 25 to 39.
Unlike violent crime cases, the number of property crime cases is up in all categories in the year to date, with burglary/breaking and entering seeing the biggest jump. The data shows those cases are up 13%, while larceny and vehicle theft cases are both up 8% compared to 2021 figures.
While some types of violent crimes saw spikes at different points in year, property crimes have been essentially evenly distributed in 2022 when looking at the in the month-by-month statistics.
An increase in the overall rate of crime, combining violent and property crimes, seems evenly distributed across the three city’s police divisions, with the 12th Street Division up 33%, the Northwest division up 36% and the Southwest division up 32%.
Those increases vary widely, though, when violent crimes and property crimes are split. While the 12th Street and Southwest Divisions have tallied more than 700 violent crimes already in 2022, the Northwest Division has yet to top 500.
That situation is flipped, though, when looking at larceny cases, with the Northwest Division reporting 1,747 cases so far this year, compared to only 1,199 for the 12th Steet Division and 1,133 in the Southwest division.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., in a July 13 news conference, pointed out the city’s violent crime rate has fallen every month since March, crediting what he called the city’s “holistic” approach to law enforcement.