ITHACA, N.Y. — Crime rates in city of Ithaca for 2015 have been released, and while decreases in property crimes are reported, some reports of violent crimes have increased.
Most notably, there were six times the number of rapes reported in 2015 than in 2014, with 12 last year. Countywide, 53 rapes were reported in 2015, meaning that Ithaca’s numbers account for about 22.6 percent of all rapes in the county.
New York State Police — which responds to crimes throughout the county — also saw a major jump in reported rapes with 24 reported as opposed to the seven reported in 2014.
Data collection methods, however, illustrate why that number has changed so drastically.
According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services website, 2015 marked the first year the FBI has expanded its definition of the crime of rape. The website states:
Starting in 2015, reported rape statistics conform to the FBI’s expanded definition of the crime. The FBI implemented this change to more accurately reflect the scope and volume of sexual assaults nationwide and in New York State. While DCJS now defines certain sex offenses as rape, those offenses historically defined as rape are still reported as a subset of total rapes. Rape statistics from 2015 cannot be compared to rape statistics from earlier years.
Aggravated assault has also increased in Ithaca with 21 reported last year to the 16 reported in 2014. However, 21 aggravated assaults is still the second least amount in the past six years.
The 15 robberies reported in Ithaca are the least amount since 2011 when 13 were reported. No murders were reported for the fourth year in a row in Ithaca and no murders happened in the county during 2015.
The statics, gathered by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, take into account reported crimes to police agencies and do not reflect the number of people convicted of crimes.
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The Ithaca Voice plans to delve in to some of these statistics over the next few days to add context about why some numbers may have changed from year to year.