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Violent Crime rise in Chico higher than expected

The chief says there were a total of 415 reported violent crimes last year including homicide rape, and assault.

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 8:02 AM

A new study from the Chico Police Department says violent crime is increasing.

Last week, a "USA Today" article reported that Chico had the third largest increase in violent crime of any urban area in California.

Police Chief Mike O'Brien said he didn't believe the numbers were so high, and he could show it using an independent study of 2017.

But, it's worse than expected - the study shows that violent crime is up 42% from 2016.

Chief O'Brien says 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 success ... I think what's important is that when we have crime we want people to report it, and I think people are doing that now. I think for a while, people were not reporting crime quite because frankly, I think they were frustrated," said O'Brien.

The chief says there were a total of 415 reported violent crimes last year including homicide rape, and assault.

Property crime also rose 77%.

In total, officers responded to 77,000 calls for service, partially because the community is more willing to report.

The chief went on to say that in the coming weeks, he'll announce new pro-active measures the department will be taking this summer.

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