Whether Cincinnati is getting safer depends on where you live, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Since this decade began, 33 of the city’s 52 neighborhoods have seen double-digit increases in “Part 1” crime, which includes all violent crime plus burglary, theft, and auto theft. Milton Dohoney Jr., the new city manager, who worked for decades in Louisville and Lexington, says the public reaction shouldn’t be a surprise. “In each community there will come a tipping point,” he says. FBI crime statistics out last week show that Cincinnati has the 15th-highest murder rate in the nation and the 34th-highest rate of violent crime among the nation’s 254 largest cities. Concern over crime has contributed to a steep population exodus from the city, and could hamper efforts to market new housing and attractions.
An Enquirer analysis of reported crime in Cincinnati shows that serious offenses – murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and auto theft – are up 16 percent from 2000 to 2005, or an additional 3,800 incidents in the city’s 52 neighborhoods. Only 15 neighborhoods show any decrease at all since the decade began. Police Chief Tom Streicher has said that Cincinnati is one of the safest cities in the nation. Streicher would not talk to the Enquirer about this story. Every major city is dealing with a surge in violent crime, said Chuck Wexler of the Washington, D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum. Nationwide, violent offenses increased more between 2004 and 2005 than at any time in the past 14 years. “Cincinnati is not alone,” Wexler said. “You’re one of a number of cities dealing with the same thing across the country – from Boston to San Francisco, from Orlando to Sacramento.”