Reported rapes rose during the first six months of 2018, but all other violent crimes declined compared to the same time last year, according to the latest crime statistics released by the Louisville Metro Police Department.
The LMPD data, released earlier this month, also suggests that individuals arrested for murder are getting younger when compared to the first six months of 2017. And it reveals a citywide decline in property crimes, which went down about five percent compared to last year.
The data, which adheres to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting format, show that crimes classified as “Part I” dropped more than 7 percent in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period last year, but the number of rapes reported increased by nearly 22 percent. The overall trend, however, suggests that rapes are declining, according to a five-year comparison.
“Part I” crimes include criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, arson and motor vehicle theft.
Although 142 rapes were reported during the first six months of 2018, only two arrests were made. That works out to an effective clearance rate of 1.4 percent of all reported rapes per the provided dataset.
The data only shows offenders listed in the LMPD’s criminal database records as “arrested” of July 10, 2018.
More than 92 percent of the rape victims in Louisville Metro were women, according to LMPD data. The police data does not track if a victim identifies as transgender.
Looking at the data from month to month, the number of violent crimes in 2018 was higher than the monthly averages for January, February and March but lower in April, May and June. The average is calculated using the prior five years of data. (See the chart below.)
Despite the overall decline so far this year, the LMPD data shows that violent crimes trended upward during the prior five years.
The largest contributing factors to the drop was reported declines in violent offenses in LMPD’s First, Second and Fourth Divisions, which have seen much of the city’s violent crimes, particularly homicide, in recent years. Those divisions also constitute many of the poorest neighborhoods in the city and are largely populated by minorities.
Those three divisions saw the largest decreases in homicide, with the First, Second and Fourth Divisions experiencing 67 percent, 52 percent and 67 percent drops, respectively.
Conversely, the Eighth Division — which covers largely white, affluent East End enclaves such as Hurstbourne, Prospect and Anchorage — reported the highest rise in violent crimes, from 75 offenses in the first six months of 2017 to 95 during the same period this year.
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad touted year-to-date decreases of violent crime to the Louisville Metro Council in late May, attributing the department’s success to a variety of factors, including partnerships with the Office of Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as targeted policing of neighborhoods in certain divisions with traditionally high crime rates.
The vast majority of homicides, 86 percent, continue to be committed with a firearm. The Second and Third Divisions reported the highest concentrations of fatal shootings, with 11 and 10 shooting deaths, respectively.
The data also shows that the racial demographics of homicide in Louisville continue to over-represent young African-American males relative to their share of the city’s overall population.
More than 83 percent of homicide arrests made by the LMPD in the above “2018 YTD” column were black and male despite African-American males representing about 23 percent of the city-county population.
Year-to-date homicide arrest figures for 2018 show that 50 percent were individuals aged 11 to 17, a substantial increase in that age range compared to 2017 when that group comprised 8.33 percent of homicide arrests. People ages 1 to 10 years old and adults aged 25 to 34 both represented 16.67 percent of those arrested for homicide.