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Violent crime in Cincinnati is at an all-time low, despite increased reports of rape, non-fatal shootings

A graph showing the number of violent crime incidents in Cincinnati from 2012 to 2022.
City of Cincinnati
A graph showing the number of violent crime incidents in Cincinnati from 2012 to 2022.

Violent crime in Cincinnati hit an all-time low last year, according to new data from the Cincinnati Police Department.

CPD Chief Teresa Theetge and Assistant Chief Mike John presented the 2022 data to City Council's Public Safety and Governance Committee Tuesday.

The reduction in violent crime is due in part to a 17% decrease in homicides compared to the two previous years, which are tied for the record high.

"It's good to have a reduction," John said. "But as you can see when you compare us to 2017 and 2018, we're still significantly higher than those years. So we want to see these numbers keep coming down, but it is encouraging to see 16 fewer victims."

Chief Teresa Theetge says this is one of the most important crime statistics.

RELATED: How Cincinnati's gun crime lab work is going

"Homicides being down is critically important to the city," Theetge said. "Those are people's lives; family members. So to save some lives through police enforcement efforts, that's a huge win for everybody."

Theetge credits the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC), a collaboration with multiple law enforcement agencies, with reducing gun-related crimes.

Overall shootings in 2022 are about even with the year before; non-fatal shootings increased from 323 to 340 while fatal shootings decreased from 82 to 61. Both are still higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Mayor Aftab Pureval and Cincinnati City Council members say they hope proposed local gun regulations will help reduce these numbers even more.

"This legislation is directly targeted to intervening the violence," Pureval said. "[It] has been designed to withstand any overreach from the state legislature that we've seen time and time again ... and I genuinely believe that the Council showing leadership on this challenging issue will, at the end of the day, result in more lives saved and more public safety."

The Public Safety and Governance Committee unanimously approved the ordinance Tuesday. It will get a final vote of full Council Wednesday.

See the full report below (story continues after):

Violent crime

Violent crime includes homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Comparing 2022 to 2021:

  • Homicide is down 17%
  • Rape is up 26.3%
  • Robbery is up 1.1%
  • Aggravated assault is down 8.4%
  • Total violent crime is down 1.1%

Seventy-eight people were murdered in Cincinnati last year, down from 94 each in 2020 and 2021. Eighty-two percent of victims last year were Black men, and most victims were between age 20 and 49.

RELATED: An interview with Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge

Domestic disputes, including intimate partner violence, are the top-ranking circumstance for homicides last year. At least 20 are considered a "sudden dispute" and 16 were determined to be a pre-planned target while 11 involved a "running dispute." Nine were drug-related, seven robbery related, and six were unintended victims.

Photos of the 78 homicide victims in Cincinnati in 2022.
City of Cincinnati
Photos of the 78 homicide victims in Cincinnati in 2022.

The only violent crime that went up last year is rape, with a 26% increase over 2021.

"Through some analysis that we've done here, there's no discernible patterns in terms of the rape offenses," John said. "And the vast majority of the rape offenses are not stranger rapes, they are someone that the victim knew."

The majority of sexual assaults in the U.S. are not reported to police, according to the organization RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

Property crime

Property crimes have been on a downward trend for years but went up 13% compared to last year. The number is down 7.6% compared to the five-year average.

Graph showing property crimes in Cincinnati from 2012 to 2022.
City of Cincinnati
Graph showing property crimes in Cincinnati from 2012 to 2022.

The biggest contributor to the increase is auto theft, which is up 50% compared to the five-year average.

Assistant Chief John says they're trying different strategies to reduce auto thefts.

"A lot of these are target hardening campaigns, working with the manufacturers, specifically with Kia and Hyundai, and we did have some marginal success doing that," John said.

RELATED: Cincinnati sues Ohio to do more on gun control

Personal/other theft increased 14% compared to 2021 but is down 14.3% compared to the five-year average. That category includes shoplifting.

"Walmart, out in District Three on Ferguson Road, that's 4% of the city's total theft offenses from that one location," John said.

Traffic crashes

Overall traffic crashes are down over the past several years, and only up slightly compared to 2020 when fewer people were on the road during the early stages of the pandemic.

Crashes resulting in an injury are also down slightly, but fatal crashes have increased since 2017.

As WVXU reported late last year, pedestrian crashes in 2022 were the lowest in at least nine years, with a 10.2% reduction compared to 2021 and a 14.3% reduction compared to the three-year average.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.