CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team took another look at your safety on Cleveland streets, and we found something you may consider stunning.
While the city has already had more murders than it did in all of last year, we found Cleveland’s overall crime rate up less than 1%, or basically unchanged. How can that be?
We’re seeing shootouts on street corners in broad daylight, murder on the highway downtown, smash and grabs night after night and more.
We looked at city crime last year-to date and this year-to date. The numbers show a drop in rape, robbery, theft and drug abuse (despite a raging problem with heroin). Meantime, we’re seeing an increase in murder, felony assault, stolen cars, and weapons crimes. As of Monday afternoon, police said there had been 122 homicides in Cleveland so far this year. There were 120 last year.
Activist Bob Render wonders if the numbers tell the entire story. He says a “significant” number of people now won’t call the police even when something happens. He said, "Either they don't call because they're afraid of retaliation, being found out that they called the police, or it's just apathy, or they've just given up."
Multiple sources say another factor could be how the city has been way behind even counting police reports on crime. That is, the city's been way behind on getting thousands of incident reports into a police computer system.
The Cleveland Police Union president also suggested the method police use to keep stats could also downplay more serious crimes; an explosive claim.
We’ve submitted a number of questions to the Cleveland police chief’s office.
Render believes, no matter the numbers show, there’s a need for more police on the street and more citizens to get involved in their neighborhoods.