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FBI report finds violent crime rates in Detroit and Flint still high, but improving

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

New data from the FBI show crime declined last year in Detroit and Flint. But both remain among the nation’s most violent cities.

According to the FBI's Crime in the United States report, In 2019, Detroit ranked as the most violent of cities with more than 100,000 residents nationally.  This despite a 3% decline in violent crime in Michigan’s largest city from 2018.

In the Detroit News, Detroit Police Chief James Craig put much of the blame on illegal guns and people’s inability to settle dispute peacefully.

"A lot of our violence is argument-based," Craig told the Detroit News. "We've seen significant increases in that. It was up last year, but it's gotten worse this year, with a lot of stress related to COVID."

The FBI says violent crime dropped 26% in Flint in 2019.

In 2019, Flint ranked 15 nationally among cities with more than 50,000 residents. That’s down from 5 in 2018.

Flint Police Chief Terence Green credits his department’s efforts to reduce the “drivers of crime” in the city’s neighborhoods.

“You put more officers on the road. Increase our visibility and conduct proactive policing,” says Green.  

Both Detroit and Flint are targeting illegal weapons in hopes of reducing violent crime.  

Flint recently stopped the practice of allowing seized illegal weapons to be sold. The city is now destroying hand guns and other illegal fire arms confiscated by police. 

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.