FBI releases 2016 crime reports for local cities

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 11, 2017

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ROSEVILLE/EASTPOINTE — The FBI released its 2016 crime reports, which breaks down crime statistics for each city.

In the category of violent crime, the FBI tracks murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In terms of property crimes, the FBI highlights burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle thefts. The FBI counts arson separately.

Violent crimes in Roseville in 2016 totaled 246. The numbers:

• Murder and non-negligent manslaughter: 0.

• Rape: 32.

• Robbery: 59.

• Aggravated assault: 155.
Property crimes in Roseville last year numbered 1,829. The breakdown by category:

• Burglary: 193.

• Larceny-theft: 1,482.

• Motor vehicle theft: 154.

The FBI stats reported nine arson cases in Roseville last year.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said he had not seen the numbers from the FBI as of Oct. 5, but he still commented on the 2016 results.

“Those numbers are significant. Roseville is kind of unique because we have two interstate highways that come through our community. Oftentimes, with the amount of traffic that we have or people coming through the city, things happen and that causes our crime stats to be abnormally high for a city our size,” said Berlin.

According to Berlin, the department is attempting to hire more Roseville officers. 

“We’re trying to hire more officers and get them on the streets,” he said. 

As for the numbers, Berlin said there’s one thing the stats don’t show.

“One of the things those numbers don’t show are our closure rates that our detectives do — how many people are arrested for the crimes they’ve committed. Our closure rate is phenomenal,” he said.

Berlin said he believed that Roseville’s violent crime closure rate was “over 70 percent,” which is “above the average.”

Berlin said the average violent crime closure rate for a city like Roseville would be “less than 30 percent.”

He also credited his detectives for doing an “incredible job” and said the department is “always looking for ways to lower the numbers.”

In Eastpointe, the FBI reported there were 266 violent crimes in 2016.

• Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter: 1.

• Rape: 34.

• Robbery: 45.

• Aggravated assault: 186.
Property crimes in Eastpointe in 2016 totaled 1,062.

• Burglary: 235.

• Larceny-theft: 602.

• Motor vehicle theft: 225.

The FBI said there were 17 arsons in Eastpointe in 2016.

Stephen Fischer Jr. is the media liaison for the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division. CJIS maintains “program responsibility for the Uniform Crime Reporting,” Fischer said in an email to the Eastsider Oct. 3.

Fischer stated the department does not “analyze or comment” on the crime statistics.

Fischer led the Eastsider to a criminologist who was willing to speak about the statistics.
James Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University, explained why it’s interesting to compare different cities.

“It’s always interesting to make these comparisons, because cities differ in terms of their demography, population characteristics, their economic conditions and geography. For example, if the city has a big shopping mall, it will attract lots of people and perhaps crime.

“So the crime rate can go up, but the population doesn’t, so it tends to exaggerate the crime rate,” said Fox. 

With the report, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a written statement that law enforcement personnel throughout the country should continue using the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

The system will be the national standard for crime reporting by 2021, according to the statement, and it will provide more transparency in police reporting.

Wray called for officers throughout the country to move beyond anecdotal evidence and to collect more comprehensive data in their investigations.

“The more complete the data, the better we can inform, educate and strengthen all of our communities,” Wray said in a prepared statement.

For more information on the 2016 FBI crime statistics, visit fbi.gov.

A message was sent to Eastpointe Police Deputy Chief Eric Keiser for comment but it was not returned by the Eastsider’s press time.

Staff Writer Kayla Dimick contributed to this story.