La Crosse crime rate down over the last year, despite perception

La Crosse crime rate down over the...

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - When it comes to crime, perception can often times feel like reality.

"So if you're moving to La Crosse from a smaller rural area, there's probably going to be a greater perception that there is more crime here in La Crosse," said community resource educator Karl Green.

But statistics prove otherwise.

According to the La Crosse Police Department, in comparison to last year the number of crimes reported in the community is down 7.2 percent.

"Seven percent, through the first six months of the year, essentially equates to somewhere in the area of almost 500 less crimes," said Captain Jason Melby with the La Crosse Police Department.

From 2012 to 2016, La Crosse county had a total of seven homicides.

And so far this year, there are zero homicides.

In comparison to other Wisconsin cities like Oshkosh, Appleton and Janesville, La Crosse's crime rates are lower.

But it's the city's property crime that tends to be higher.

"If you really dig in to the data on the crime in La Crosse, the majority of crimes are property crimes which are probably more random but they're not violent crimes."

Green is currently researching crime rates in La Crosse, and he says when it comes to violent crime, the city is considered safe.

"I think if you were to ask the majority of people, do you feel safe in La Crosse, yeah I think most people safe as the majority of crimes are property crimes, you know minor crimes like that kind of drive up on numbers in La Crosse."

Green says the use of alcohol in the city could factor in to the number of property crimes, which is reported to be more than 700 just this year alone.

But Melby says the department feels good knowing overall crime is down.

"The nature of the crimes would lend the public to believe that we do have an uptick in violent crime and obviously when you have a couple of incidents back to back that is something that where you can understand people become significantly worried but like I said across the board, when you look at it, we are down and that is something to feel good about."


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