Mayor Don Wesely today announced that overall crime in Lincoln dropped 5.6 percent in 1999 compared to 1998. Statistics released today also show that the city's per capita crime rate for 1999 was the lowest since 1985, at 61.7 offenses per 100,000 in population.
"It's very gratifying to see that the trend we noted during the first six months of 1999 held through the end of the year," Mayor Wesely said. "Our citizens can take great pride in the excellent job done by our police officers, and we need to continue our efforts to put more officers on the streets. We can also be very proud of the many community efforts that have been undertaken to prevent crime and keep Lincoln safe."
The only crime categories with increases were assault and auto theft. The categories of rape, robbery, burglary and larceny-theft all declined, while murder and non-negligent homicide rates were unchanged.
"I am especially pleased by the work of our personnel in identifying and responding to pattern crimes such as larcenies from autos and burglaries and in completing problem-oriented policing projects," said Police Chief Tom Casady. "Some of these projects are receiving national attention as examples of quality police work."
At the same time, Casady said the overall decline in crime needs to be kept in perspective, and the city cannot afford to rest on its laurels.
"Most of the decrease has been in property crime," Casady said. "We've just experienced our first apparent homicide of the year, and that reminds us that violent crime has grown faster than the population over the past decade. The upward trend in violent crime during our lifetimes has been particularly dramatic."
Casady also noted that Lincoln's downturn in crime mirrors national trends but differs from the increasing trend affecting Nebraska as a whole during the past decade.