An analysis of 2015 FBI crime data by the website ’24/7 Wall St.’ found Rockford to have the 6th highest violent crime rate in the nation, and a surge in violent crime compared to 2014.
The website found that Rockford had 1,585.3 violent crimes per 100,000 residents last year, a 27.2% increase from the year before, which ’24/7 Wall St.’ called “one of the most dramatic increases in the country.”
Rockford’s murder rate last year was 19, which the city is on a pace to match in 2016. ’24/7 Wall St.’ also noted that Rockford has the highest aggravated assault rate in the country.
The findings come as no surprise. An analysis of crime rates done by a group commissioned by the city showed violent crime rates growing for years. An investigation done by ‘Eyewitness News’ also showed a growing ‘arrest gap’, where crime has increased over the past several years while arrests by Rockford Police steadily decreased.
Since the city’s crime report was released publicly last year, former Police Chief Chet Epperson retired and was replaced by current Police Chief Dan O’Shea.
’24/7 Wall St.’ also noted that the city has a high 25.4% poverty rate.