MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Violent crimes committed by juveniles jumped by 58% this year compared to the same time last year, according to new numbers from the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission and the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute.
Through September of this year, according to data provided by the Juvenile Court, there were 671 major violent delinquent charges from January through September of 2019, compared to 423 in 2018. Juvenile charges reached a low point of 365 in 2016.
The crime commission did not provide a reason for the sudden increase.
The bad news about juvenile crimes comes amid some positive news for crime in Memphis and Shelby County.
Crimes involving guns have decreased 7.2% year-over-year, mirroring a drop in major violent crimes this year.
“We are encouraged that reported violent crime is down so far this year, as well as crimes involving guns. At the same time, we are seeing a disturbing and significant increase in violent delinquent charges against juveniles who are often affiliated with gangs,” said District Attorney Amy Weirich said in a news release.