The news: Crime in the city is down 7.1 percent in the first three months of this year.
Behind the news: The most significant reductions took place in two notoriously high-crime districts. From January through March compared with the same period last year, District 7 on the city’s South Side saw a 17 percent drop in overall crime, while District 11 on the West Side experienced a 15 percent drop, according to Chicago Police Department data.
But other areas of the city aren’t faring as well. Districts 2, 5, 12 and 20 all recorded rises in crime from last year, with District 12 on the West Side reporting the biggest increase at 10 percent.
Districts 7 and 11 are among five police districts participating in the Expanded Anti-Violence Initiative, established in 2009 to reduce crime through better collaboration among law enforcement officials, residents and faith-based groups. But unlike in districts 7 and 11, the decreases in crime in the other three districts were less than the citywide average.
District 7 Commander Anthony Carothers said the initiative is just one of a number of factors helping to reduce crime in his district.
“To combat a lot of the worst crimes, I attack the smaller crimes,” Carothers said. That means regularly sending squad cars to patrol the streets for things like public drinking, gambling, rowdy parties and minors out after curfew. “If you can’t even stand outside with a beer in your hand, you know what’s going to happen if you’ve got a gun on you,” he said.