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Violent Crimes, Car Thefts in Springfield Increased in 2019

Springfield Police Department
Ryan Welch
/
KSMU

The Springfield Police Department has released its annual report showing the past year's crime data.

The number of violent crimes and property crimes both went up in 2019. 

According to the 2019 FBI Uniform Crime Report, aggravated assaults in Springfield increased by almost 20 percent in 2019, and the police department said in a press release that gun violence played a major role in that increase. 

Police Chief Paul Williams said most people don’t need to worry about being victims of random acts of violence, as most violence is between people who know each other.

“The vast majority of that is caused by gun violence. For example, someone gets into an argument with people at a party, and they leave, and they go get their gun, and they come back and they fire at the house, and there’s a dozen people in the house, that’s a dozen victims of an aggravated assault,” Williams said.

Violent crimes went up overall by 16 percent, although homicides specifically were down, with 12 homicides in 2019 compared to 16 the year before.

Vehicle thefts also went up by nearly 15 percent, according to the data.

Williams advises people to lock their doors and keep valuables out of plain sight to prevent theft.

Governor Mike Parson has met in recent months with the mayors and police chiefs of Missouri's largest cities to discuss gun violence.   To see all of the local crime data in that report, you can click here.