Homicides and sexual assaults in Columbia are happening more often this year than at this point last year, newly released figures from the Columbia Police Department show.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The next two paragraphs in this Oct. 28 story were reworded Oct. 29 to make it clear the percentages are based on year-to-date comparisons – not year-end comparisons.
With two months left in the year, the eight homicides through Oct. 26 have risen to the point that they equal the total for all of 2013, deputy chief Melron Kelly told a City Council committee Tuesday. That’s a 33.3 percent jump compared to the six that occurred by the same period last year.
The number of reported sexual assaults, 43, has surpassed 2013’s total of 41, the data show. That’s a 19.44 percent increase compared to the 36 that were reported by late October last year.
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Violent crime overall, however, is down by nearly 3 percent through Oct. 26, compared with that time last year, according to police figures.
Property crimes overall are down by 15 percent year to date.
Reported violent crimes reached 678 so far this year, compared with 698 by late October 2013, the data show. That’s a reduction of 2.87 percent or 20 fewer violent crimes.
Property crimes totaled 5,468 so far this year compared with 6,443 at this time last year. That’s a reduction of 15.1 percent or 975 fewer property crimes by Oct. 26.
Together, 6,146 violent and property crimes had been reported by late October compared with 7,141 by Oct. 26, 2013. That’s a 13.93 percent drop or 995 fewer crimes.
During all of 2013, the city had 836 reported violent crimes and 7,828 property offenses, the police department’s figures show. That’s a total of 8,664 crimes, which means the city is 2,518 crimes short of the total for calendar 2013.
The police department periodically reports crime statistics to council’s Public Safety Committee.
Kelly did not discuss why some of the numbers were climbing other than to tell the committee, “We’re seeing some increases.”