- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A new report says there were 105 homicides in Milwaukee last year, the largest number in six years and a 15 percent increase over the previous year.

Milwaukee police released the city’s 2013 crime statistics Wednesday. In addition to the increase in homicides, the report says the number of sexual assaults increased 3 percent to 239.

The department says the homicide rate was trending low in the first half of 2013 until shootings surged in August and September. Police Chief Edward Flynn has previously attributed the violence to gang shootings, particularly between members of the same gang.

Flynn has said the police department is trying to combat violence through smarter and more effective patrolling techniques, and by engaging community leaders.

The report also says property crimes such as burglary and car thefts were down 11 percent.

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