CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
Overall crime goes down slightly in Salt Lake last month, but city officials see a bump in violent crimes
Nov 17, 2021, 7:41 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:21 am
(Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, left, sits next to Police Chief Mike Brown during a press conference November 17, 2021. Photo: Paul Nelson)
SALT LAKE CITY – Police in Salt Lake City say they’re on the right track when it comes to bringing down the number of crimes across the city. However, the latest data shows there are several ways the city could improve.
The trends look good, at least on paper. Citywide overall crime has dropped 18 percent over the last 28 days, according to the data used by Salt Lake City Police Department. Plus, 2021’s year-to-date total number of crimes is 2.2 percent lower than a year ago. Mayor Erin Mendenhall said these are good signs, but they say overall crime is still way too high.
“This, by no means, represents and absence of crime in Salt Lake City,” she said.
Mendenhall said several factors are behind high crime rates. A housing shortage concentrates a lot of poverty along State Street, and small crimes like burglaries and car prowls are more likely to happen in poor areas, Mendenhall said. Plus, she has a request for anyone who may be hesitant to call police and report if they’re victims of a crime.
“Please call and report your crime. Go online and report the crime if it is something that has happened and already passed,” she asks. “This matters, and it directs how we put our resources.”
While the total number of crimes may be slightly down, Police Chief Mike Brown said the number of violent crimes has gone slightly up. Violent crimes went up eight percent over the last 28 days, Brown said.
“What we have been seeing, lately, is a lot of aggravated assaults on the street,” he said. “Sadly, there are aggravated family offenses that are occurring and driving these violent crime numbers up.”
Brown is concerned about a possible rise in domestic violence cases over the holidays.
“We take family violence very seriously, and if we’re dispatched to a call, we will make sure the victims are safe,” Brown said.
The department is still putting together a Violent Crimes Task Force, but Brown said they still have 55 open police officer positions they’re trying to fill. New classes of officers are expected to hit the streets in the coming months.
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