April crime stats: Murders still rising, but slower

(FILE)

Chicago police released the latest stats on violent crime Sunday, which show the number of murders continuing to rise compared to last year, but at a much slower rate.

The city had 36 murders in April this year, just one more than in April 2015. In comparison, March 2016 saw murders up 29 percent over 2015 and February 2016 saw murders up 126 percent compared to 2015.

Police say there is also an increase in police activity compared to March 2015, with 10 percent more murder arrests, 30 percent more gun recoveries and 10 percent more investigative stops by police.

In total, April 2016 saw 36 murders, 253 shootings and 311 shooting victims, police say.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson points to new police tactics that focus on gangs and illegal weapons for the slowing violent crime. The department is also offering a new diversion program for non-violent drug offenders, giving them the opportunity to enter rehabilitation programs instead of arrest and incarceration.

The department also credits the community for taking part in recent gun buyback events. A total of 2,800 guns have been taken off the streets so far in 2016.
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