DETROIT — According to the crime statistics released on Wednesday, homicides in the city jumped to 302 in 2016. However, records from the Police Department show a decrease in carjacking, robberies and nonfatal shootings.
Police Chief James Craig noted that the crime drops in cities like Los Angeles and New York took time.
"Not waving a flag of success, but progress certainly ..." Craig said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "What we're seeing here, we are on the right track. I'm absolutely confident."
Detroit has a population of 677,116. These population number breaks the 302 homicides down to 44.6 for every 100,000 people and brands Detroit with one of the highest murder rates in the U.S.
The 302 murders for 2016 jumped 2.3 percent from 2015's 295 homicides. Craig said most of them were the result of arguments and some involved former prisoners.
"We believe if we can work with the [Michigan Department of Corrections] to help individuals who are returning citizens to make better choices, we believe we can shrink that number," Craig said.
There was also a 4.8 percent spike in rapes— from 537 in 2015 to 564 in 2016. Also, car theft had a 5.8 percent increase from 8,035 in 2015 to 8,534 in 2016.
Carjackings decreased from 531 in 2015 to 382 in 2016. Nonfatal shootings dropped down to 982—8 percent lower than 2015's shootings.
"Non-fatal shootings are nothing more than unsuccessful homicide as far as I'm concerned," Craig said. "Overall, violent crime continues to drop ... The stats keep going in the right direction."
In 1974, Detroit was nicknamed "Murder City" because of the 714 homicides that year. The 295 homicides documented two years ago was Detroit's lowest figure since the 281 murders recorded in 1967.
According to Craig, the police officers' enhanced morale and improved relationship with Detroiters and businesses are helping decrease the number of crimes.