GRPD 2014 crime report: Violent crime down, murders at ‘historical’ low

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Grand Rapids Police Department released its full list of crime statistics for 2014 with the majority of crimes seeing decreases year over year. While the most serious crimes, what are considered to be Part I offenses, were down 11 percent overall. Murders were down a whopping 65 percent from 2013 to 2014.

These are numbers the department is calling 'historical,' marking a 24-year low for murder, with six committed in 2014. The highest murder rate for the city during that same time frame was back in 1993 when 34 were committed in a single year.

Elsewhere, burglaries were down by 27 percent, reported rapes were down by 13.2 percent, and and larcenies were down by 12 percent.

However, aggravated assaults, motor vehicle thefts, and arson all saw increases at 12 percent, 25 percent and 10 percent respectively. GRPD Lt. Pat Merrill Said the increase in vehicle thefts was due partly to higher than average instances during the cold winter months along with a higher than usual rate of moped thefts, which are classified as motor vehicles.

Less serious Part II offenses like vandalism and prostitution also saw declines.

Lt. Merrill said the numbers are a reflection of the department continuing to improve working relations with people in the city to keep bad behavior off the street.

“That flat out is the clearly the result of officers out on the street working proactively, coming into contact with people, finding the people up to no good in areas they shouldn’t be doing things they shouldn’t," Merrill said. "They’re getting their hands on those folks and successfully prosecuting them and taking them off the street.”

Read the full 2014 crime report here.

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