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Is Crime Up In Shreveport? The Answer Might Surprise You.

Photos Courtesy of KPEL
Photos Courtesy of KPEL

There has been a lot of made about the increase in crime around Shreveport over the last few years. Many in the community think they have the answers, including some recent comments from a Shreveport City Councilman.

I’m not here to suggest solutions, because no matter what you say, someone will disagree. This is simply to look at the raw numbers. So I don’t want to distract from that with a fight over fixes.

Here’s what the numbers say (NOTE: All of these statistics come from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and Shreveport Annual Crime Reports):

According to the Shreveport Police, as of June 20th of 2017, the City of Shreveport has had 25 homicides. Which puts the city roughly on pace with last year’s numbers. Last year the city claimed 46 homicides in their Annual Crime Report.

It is true that 2016 was the deadliest year in Shreveport in a decade, which means this year is on par with that increase, but it’s down substantially from Shreveport’s past. Looking deeper at the numbers, 2016, and 2017’s pace, is actually pretty par-for-the-course, if not for an 8 year period of very low crime.

Between 2008 and 2015, homicides in Shreveport never exceeded 36, and stayed in the 20s for 5 of those years. Total ‘Violent Crime’ (which includes homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) was down over that span as well. But that’s actually where 2016 evened out.

Even though the homicide rate in 2016 was up, violent crime fell closer to the numbers of the decade before. The total Violent Crime in 2016 totaled 1,857 instances. Which was beat by the numbers in 2008, but did beat the numbers for the years before that. But the 2016 numbers were very close to the 2009, 2010, and 2015 numbers.

Again, comparing year-to-year, 2016 was above 2015, and 2017 is on pace with 2016…so you CAN say that crime is increasing. But compared to the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s…crime is DOWN in Shreveport. 

That’s something you don’t hear a lot about though.

In 1993, there were 76 homicides in Shreveport. In 2006, there were 2,261 total Violent Crimes in Shreveport. Between 2000 and 2005, the city averaged 44 homicides, and averaged 2,056 total Violent Crimes over that same period.

What it comes down to is your sample. If you look at crime in the city from the year 2011 to present day, you can say “crime is up”. But the statistics prevent you from being able to say phrases like “It’s never been this bad” or “Shreveport is more dangerous today than when I was younger”. Because based on the actual facts, Shreveport was safer in 2016 (and 2017’s paces) than in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, or pretty much any other year in Shreveport’s history.

You might even be able to make an argument that Shreveport is still in one of it’s safest periods ever. Unlike the 1980s, there are currently no riots breaking out in the city. Unlike the 90s, the drive by shootings have been reduced, and unlike the early 2000s, robberies and aggravated assaults are both down roughly 40%. 

Shreveport Crime Stats
Shreveport Crime Stats

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