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Posted on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

New statistics show crime in Ann Arbor may be at lowest levels in a decade

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor may have experienced its lowest level of crime in a decade in 2011, according to new statistics released by Police Chief Barnett Jones.

"As you can see, we live in a great community," Jones told members of the Ann Arbor City Council during a special working session Monday night.

Jones offered a year-end review of crime statistics, showing the Ann Arbor Police Department logged 2,758 incidents in the eight major categories tracked by the FBI.

That's down 15 percent from the year before, and down 27 percent from a decade ago, according to the department's own statistics.


Barnett Jones

Ryan J. Stanton |

The department reported handling 126 aggravated assaults, 10 arsons, 545 breaking and enterings, 1,883 larcenies, 94 vehicle thefts and 58 robberies — all of which were lows for the last decade, according to the department's own statistics.

While all other major crimes are trending downward, Jones said he found it perplexing that rapes are trending upward.

There were 42 rapes reported last year. That's down slightly from the year before, but nearly double from a decade ago.

Jones speculated that more women are getting over their fear of reporting rapes with community organizations like SafeHouse making them feel comfortable coming forward.

There were no murders reported in 2011. The only murder in Ann Arbor in the last seven years happened in 2009. Before that, there were eight murders between 2002 and 2004.

Jones stressed that the city's numbers are unofficial. They have yet to be verified and are not reconciled with cases handled by the University of Michigan's police officers.

The city's crime numbers for the past decade differ slightly from the totals reported annually in the FBI's official Uniform Crime Reports. In some cases, the city's numbers are higher than the FBI's totals, which include crimes reported by both the city and U-M.

Explaining why the city's numbers might be higher, Jones said sometimes crimes are reported and later it's determined they didn't actually happen.

The FBI's annual report for 2011 is not yet available.

Much attention was placed on the city's crime statistics last summer following a series of high-profile attacks on women in and around downtown Ann Arbor.

"Communities are judged all over this country by those major categories of Part I crimes," Jones said. "I wish that every year we would report those as zero, but that's never going to occur, so we deal with the crime stats that we incur over the course of the year."

Jones said he doesn't think the fact that significantly fewer officers are employed by the city has anything to do with the declining number of crimes being reported.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

"Crime is down" Jones say's....unless your the victim!


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

Let's close down the police dept...then there would be NO crime reported.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:30 p.m. been talking to the powers that be? I'd say that has been the plan all along...then we, in the city, can wait on WCS to respond to all 91 calls.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

911 ops love to play 20 questions till your minutes,battery run out .no crime reported.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

I cannot believe you said that.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

This does not look like a reporting artifact due to lower staffing to me. While I can imagine that less petty crime, like someone urinating in your driveway, would be reported when it's unlikely that an oifficer will respond, anyone who is a victim of a serious crime, like aggravated assault or arson, will report it, even if there are fewer cops on the beat. Not to mention that you need a police report for insurance purposes if you're a victim of a B&E, for instance. And all the crimes in the table above seem serious enough to me that the'd be reported, no matter what. So perhaps things have actually changed for the better, one dare hope?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

B-b-b-b-but - My right wing talking points!


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2 p.m.

I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell you. Sorry Chief, not buying it. I think you need to seek employment elsewhere.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

As tdw said, there may be a lot in just HOW the statistics are reported. As Mr. Ranzini pointed-out, fewer cops handling caseload and doing rounds is apt to lead to fewer crimes reported. How many Ann Arbor offenses are handled by the UofM, County, State, or FBI and not included? How well reported are offenses committed? How are certain offenses classified and tracked? What is the need of the Police Department/ agencies - portraying a great image? - justifying need for more funding? How crimes are reported in the news (or not at all) creately affects peoples' perceptions of how much crime is going on. Smokeblwr's observation of more crimes reported on this site now than 10-20 years ago may be because certain crimes are now reported more on the site. Particularly with the daily Ann Arbor News delivery a thing of the past. I suspected that a decline in population (Pfizer exodus in particular) might also be a factor, but Wikipedia puts Ann Arbor's population virtually unchanged (-0.1%) 2000 to 2010 <a href=",_Michigan" rel='nofollow'>,_Michigan</a>. This article is a perfect example of why one should always take statistics and reporting with a critical eye and critical thinking, if not a grain of salt as well.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

How many of the crimes listed in the above chart would go unreported? You would not report a robbery, murder, break in. Come on now. Get real. Why is it that so many people want to make this worse? Things not bad enough for you? You like looking on the dark side?

Ron Granger

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

Does this include crimes at the hospital, where dialing 911 connects you to hospital security instead of police?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

I guess this depends on when the UofM quit putting their crimes in the total! Were the total crimes from 10 years ago including those by UoM's police department? Statistics have always left me wondering what parameters have changed to make the figures look better. Hopefully we are in a safer environment. Also how many of these crimes were closed &quot;solved&quot; as opposed to ten years ago.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

figures don't lie but liars figure................


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

Keep in mind that the police can make the stats higher or lower to suit their needs.Need more money from the government ? make your crime stats look higher want to look like things are hunky dory make the stats look lower.It's all in the way it is reported. Keep in mind that I am 100% pro police.My father,my Uncle were A2 cops and I was in Detroit for a short time


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:54 a.m.

It sometimes amazes me the lengths to which people will go to support their point of view. Statistics are rather easily verified. Lower crime rates are occuring country-wide. Are they all lying?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Cops don't lie. Ever.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

But....I read about crimes on this website everyday. I don't remember reading about his much crime on here 10 or 20 years ago. So there must be more crime now than back in my day when kids had respect for their elders.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

Was that tongue in cheek?

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

&quot;Jones said he doesn't think the fact that significantly fewer officers are employed by the city has anything to do with the declining number of crimes being reported.&quot; If you make it harder to report crimes, fewer will be reported.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

Mr. Ranzini - It is not difficult to report a crime. Pick up the phone and call. Good grief.

E Claire

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

I think Mr. Ranzini is referring to the fact that the police will not come out and take a report for some crimes anymore. If someone can't get to the police station during business hours to make a report, the crime goes unreported.

Stupid Hick

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

I don't get it. Does 9-1-1 still work in Ann Arbor? Is it no longer offered 24/7? DId I miss an article about people having to wait on hold because of staffing levels?