MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The latest crime statistics from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reportedly shows that while violent crime is decreasing, burglaries and thefts are on the rise.

According to the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, preliminary figures from the TBI show the rate of crimes such as murder, rape and aggravated assault has dropped 6.1 percent in Memphis and 5.7 percent countywide compared to last year.

The crime commission says the overall crime rate rose 8.2 percent in Memphis and 6.6 percent countywide.

The crime commission says there was a 10.3 percent drop in reported aggravated assaults in Memphis and a 9.7 percent drop countywide.

According to the crime commission, 70 percent of violent incidents involved guns. Guns are also reportedly involved in more than half domestic violence aggravated assaults.

Chart depicting change in violent crime rates in Memphis and Shelby County, courtesy of the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission

“During the peak pandemic year of 2020, we had a very disturbing increase in violent crime, as did most cities across the country,” said crime commission president Bill Gibbons. “Unlike many other cities, we saw a leveling off in 2021, and we now see a decline. We have a long way to go but are moving in the right direction. The hard, smart work of law enforcement and prosecutors and the involvement of concerned citizens have all played a role.”

While the rate of violent crime appears to be dropping, data from the TBI shows the rate of property crimes is increasing.

According to the crime commission, the rate of burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and other felony thefts is up 18 percent in Memphis and 14.8 percent countywide compared to last year.

The crime commission says there have been 3,600 motor vehicle thefts countywide and more than 15,000 reported felony thefts. The rate of motor vehicle thefts reportedly increased 39.2 percent in Memphis and 36 percent in the entire county.

The rate of reported felon thefts reportedly increased 12.6 percent in Memphis and 10.2 percent countywide.

Chart depicting change in property crimes in Memphis and Shelby County, courtesy of the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission

The crime commission says the increases in felony thefts and motor vehicle thefts seems to be connected to a search guns in vehicles. According to the crime commission, 1,241 guns were reported stolen from vehicles in this first half of 2022 compared to 817 guns stolen in 2021.

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