MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission and the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute released crime data gathered by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation from the last quarter of 2020.
Data from TBI shows major property crime and overall crime showed a downward trend in the city and county.
The Crime Commission says major property crimes like burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and other felony thefts dropped 8.9% in Memphis and 8.4% countywide compared to 2019.
Specifically, TBI data shows Memphis burglaries dropped 26.1% compared to 2019 which could be due to more people staying at home due to the pandemic.
Over the past 14 years, Memphis has seen a continuation in decreased burglaries with the rate dropping 66.1%.
The overall crime rate is broken down into 54 different categories tracked by the TBI, according to the Crime Commission and the U of M.
Overall crime dropped 1.5% in Memphis and 2.7% in all of Shelby County in 2020.
However, the most pressing issue is major violent crime driven by gun violence. The community saw a significant uptick in major violent crime with murders and aggravated assaults at the top of the charts.
Here’s an explanation of the violent crime rate in 2020:
“In Memphis, the violent crime rate soared in 2020 compared to 2019 – up 24.3%. Countywide, the increase was 23.1%. Murders increased 49.0% in Memphis compared to 2019 and 45.9% countywide. Reported aggravated assaults jumped by a disturbing 35.4% in Memphis and 34.3% countywide. At the same time, though, reported robberies dropped 12.1% in Memphis and 13.8% throughout Shelby County.”
The Crime Commission says gun violence continues to be a critical factor in the increase of violent crime. As 2020 came to an end, Memphis Police Department reported a record-breaking total of 332 homicides across the city -- 262 (70%) of those cases were due to gun violence.