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Violent crime up in Milwaukee


MILWAUKEE (WSAU)   Violent crime in Wisconsin’s largest city rose by almost nine-and-a-half percent last year. Milwaukee Police reported almost 7,600 murders, sexual assaults, robberies, and aggravated assaults in 2012 – the most since Police Chief Ed Flynn was hired in 2008. The increase in violent crime was spurred by 33-percent more assaults, due mainly to domestic violence incidents which were up 50-percent in 2011. Milwaukee had 92 murders last year, five more than the previous year.

The news was not all bad, though. Robberies were down by 13-percent. Property crimes like burglary and theft dropped by just over three-percent, and that led to an eight-tenths-of-one-percent drop in overall crime.

Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett did not hold a news conference to announce the figures, like they normally do when violent crime goes down. In a news release, Flynn said his policing strategies might have actually caused some categories of crime to go up. As an example, he said his department’s outreach to prevent domestic violence might have caused more of those incidents to be reported to officers.

Mayor Barrett said vacant homes and foreclosures remain a factor in crime – and he asked state officials to help Milwaukee tackle that issue.