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Analysis: Robbery Rates in Illinois

By Nicole Sroka

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2019

The legal definition of a robbery, according to Cornell Law School, is a crime committed by an individual who unlawfully takes the property of another through the use of force or threat. Illinois is composed of several large cities including Chicago, Aurora, and Joliet. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation collects and presents statistical data pertaining to crime in their annual publication of the Uniform Crime Report. According to a 2017-18 report from the UCR’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Chicago had the highest amount of robberies reported in Illinois with a total of 4,631 reports made to local authorities.

Rockford amassed 151 robbery reports which was relatively low compared to Chicago. Though, there are drastic differences between the populations of the cities and robbery reports: the city of Chicago had a population of 2,706,171 people whereas the population of Rockford was 146,770.

In 2018, robberies in Chicago began to increase significantly. An article published by the Chicago Tribune highlights how Chicago had the highest first quarter tally of robberies with 86 robbery reports produced within the first three months of 2018.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson issued a statement regarding the efforts of the Chicago Police Department to combat an increase in robberies by assigning officers to respond to areas in the city where robberies are likely to occur: particularly areas like Downtown Chicago and the Loop. One question, however, is whether there is a correlation between cities with high populations and a large amount of robbery reports.

Aurora had a population of 201,599 people in 2018 with 49 robbery reports whereas Springfield had a population of 115,568 with 86 robbery reports. Certain cities with larger populations had less robberies reported compared to cities with lower populations and vice versa. 

Overall, it is unclear if robbery report totals depend on the population of a city. Different variables – notably geographic, demographic, and social factors – can be researched to determine if they influence how likely an individual is to commit a robbery or a different crime.



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