- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The number of violent crimes in Memphis increased by 4.6 percent last year over 2013, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Reports.

The report, released this week, shows homicides increased by nearly 13 percent and rapes were up by 14.6 percent in 2014, The Commercial Appeal reported (https://bit.ly/1KRmfx2 ).

According to the report, 11,399 violent crimes were reported in 2014 compared with 10,894 in 2013. Homicides increased from 124 in 2013 to 140 in 2014. The number of rapes rose from 437 in 2013 to 501 in 2014.

At the same time, violent crimes, including homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults, declined 1 percent nationally.

Despite the 2014 uptick in Memphis, city officials said violent crime rates are decreasing so far this year.

“Our numbers for last year say the (violent crime) numbers did go up,” said Rick Masson, interim executive director of the Shelby County Crime Commission. “But for August (2015), they show it going down.”

Masson said the city has seen double-digit declines in violent crimes, nearly 20 percent, since the group started Operation Safe Community in 2006.

“Nobody is suggesting here that everything is OK with our crime rate,” Masson said. “What we’re saying is that it’s getting better.”

Masson said the group’s public safety plan of action outlines goals and strategies to continue to whittle down crime, including targeting youth crime, domestic violence, gang-related crimes and repeat offenders.

The FBI report compiles crime statistics from data provided by law enforcement agencies.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com


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