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Chico police release 2017 crime statistics

Chico, Calif.--Earlier this week we reported how a USA today article found that Chico has seen the third largest increase in violent crime in any metro area in California.

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 10:48 PM

Chico, Calif.--Earlier this week we reported how a USA today article found that Chico has seen the third largest increase in violent crime in any metro area in California.

But police chief Michael O'Brien disputed those numbers Frday during a press conference.

O'Brien said the numbers in the USA today report did not accurately reflect the city of Chico because it combined statistics from all of the law enforcement agencies in butte county.
*but* he's not disputing that crime has been on the rise in the city of chico

{"If you're going to present information to the public, I think you need to provide some context and I think it just lacked context."
Providing context is exactly why chico police chief michael o'brien held a press conference today to share the 2017 crime report.
The department had a busy year responding to more than 77,000 calls for service.
In 2017, there were a total of 415 reported violent crimes, including homicide, robbery, rape, and aggravated assault.
That's a 31-percent increase from 2015, and a 42 percent increase from 2016.
"What we don't know is if that spike in 2017 is going to be a trend or simply just that an anomly, a spike. Those numbers may, or may not go down in 2018. Certainly we want to see those numbers go down."
Property crime, including burglary, larceny, vehicle theft and arson is also on the rise.
There were 3,750 reported cases in 2017, that's a 7 percent increase from 2016.
O'brien said that since 2012, with the exception of 2016, there has been an increase in both violent and property crimes.
He thinks that new state laws passed in recent years that reduce the state's prisons population by scaling back the definition of some crimes... May be part of the problem.
"We also want people to go to jail. That is also very important. They can not commit violent crime while in custody, that is also very very critical to our sucess."
But chief michael o'brien said the department, can only do so much and they need the community's help.
"I think what's important is that we have crime we want people to report it, and I think people are doing that now. I think for awhile people were not reporting crime quite frankly, I think they were frustrated."
O'brien wants the community to know even though crime numbers have gone up, they are going to continue to work hard at keeping residents safe.
"We're in it for the long haul, we will not let up."

The chief went on to say that one of the most effective ways of preventing crime is by being pro-active
So in the coming weeks he'll announce new pro-active measures the department will be taking this summer

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We've been warming today under a sunny sky, and the heat will only get more intense going forward. Today we warmed back to seasonal averages, and it will get much hotter through the weekend and beyond.
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