The constant rise in crime in the city of Chicago has drawn a lot of attention from the concerned business leaders. In the midst of the post-pandemic recovery when the businesses were starting to bloom and vacancies were going down, the city is affected by the increasing number of violent crimes.
Compared to last year, there has been a rise in the number of sexual assaults, homicides, and theft. Possession of a firearm has also become very common in the city, which could be one of the possible reasons encouraging people to commit violence.
How Chicago is affected from the increasing crime rates?
The rising crime rate is directly effecting the business leaders in the city. Not just that, but it has made things difficult for many downtown developers. This is because they are unable to market properties as the violence is attracting a lot of negative attention to the city.
Currently, crime has become one of the major concerns in Chicago. Rob Karr, the president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association said that many of the businesses have already exited the city due to violence. This has put the downtown business community in danger as well as the rest of the city.
The business district downtown is an important point of operation for the entire city. To be more precise about one-third of the employees in the city are working there. Therefore, it becomes crucial to maintain viability.
In the words of Lavin, downtown is the main economic engine for Chicago. Not just that, but it is also the gateway to the city for visitors and tourists. And this is the reason why big companies think of setting up their hub around there. But due to all the chaos and rising number of crimes, businesses are moving out. Plus, the place is becoming risky even for visitors.
The ongoing crime problem in Chicago has brought a bad reputation to the city. It has impacted downtown businesses negatively. Even the spokeswoman for the Chicago Loop Alliance, Kiana DiStasi have promoted downtown in bad light. This is affecting public’s perception about the downtown area.
Chicago Gun Violence
According to crime statistics recorded in July 2021, murder rates were nearly the same as last year. However, the shootings have increased by 15%. Besides the number of people shot in Chicago has increased by 10% year-over-year.
Based on the statistics released by the Police Department of Chicago, there were 105 homicides reported in July 2021. According to Police, around 445 cases of homicides have been reported so far this year. This number is significantly higher than the cases recorded in 2019.
To sum it up, the number of shootings have increased significantly. One of the possible could be the large number of civilians possessing firearms. Not just that, but Police have also reported about seizing of illegal weapons. They have recovered more 12,000 illegal firearms this year.
The Police superintendent has blamed gun violence and illicit drug trade for the increasing crime rates in the city. For this very reason they are putting more focus on gang activities.
According to David Brown, the Chicago Police superintendent, gang wars are risking the lives of innocent people. It is destroying communities and making the city a dangerous place to live.
Currently, Chicago is going through a massive crisis. FBI says that they are not facing a national crime surge, but it is affecting only specific areas in the country.
The politicians and the Chicago police department are trying to curb down the crime rates by implementing all the possible methods. The last two summers have been very rough for the police.