CH crime tallies for 2015 show continued improvement
The number of serious crimes committed in Cleveland Heights last year declined by double-digit percentages. It was the third straight year crime was down in the city.
According to data compiled by the Cleveland Heights Police Department (CHPD) to standards established by the FBI, the number of violent crimes in the city was down 17 percent in 2015, compared to a 28 percent drop the year before. The number of property crimes dropped 16 percent last year, compared to a 22 percent drop in 2014.
The number of crimes committed in almost every category declined last year, except for homicide, which remained the same; there were two murders in the city in each of the last two years.
The information represents serious offenses defined as "Part I" crimes; it does not include "Part II" minor offenses, such as trespassing or DUI. The FBI doesn't ask local agencies to report on these crimes, because they are so numerous that managing and reviewing the data would be prohibitively expensive.
The CHPD's report on crime clearance rates was a mixed bag. Clearance rates represent the percentage of crimes solved—essentially a gauge of how well the department does at catching criminals.
Every murder, rape and arson reported in the city last year was solved. The clearance rate improved for assaults and burglaries. But the percentage of robberies, thefts and auto thefts solved declined.
Police officials have said that these numbers may improve over time; some crimes that occurred last year haven't yet been solved. As they are, the clearance rate will be adjusted, per FBI reporting standards.
For more information about how the CHPD collects and validates crime statistics, and why the Observer publishes them regularly, see the original article in this series by scanning the QR code or visiting http://tiny.cc/chcrimestats.
Cleveland Heights resident Bob Rosenbaum is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and is responsible for its advertising sales and market development.