Violent crime in Milwaukee down 23% since 2007

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department released its crime statistics for 2011 Thursday. The overall report shows violent crime in the city has fallen by 23 percent since 2007 -- and crime overall is down 21 percent in the same five-year time frame.

While the number look promising, Police Chief Ed Flynn says there are some areas that need to be address to keep them from becoming a trend. In particular, Flynn showed there were increases in robberies, burglaries and car thefts in 2011.

In March 2011, scrap metal thefts reached an all-time high. Then 15 percent of stolen cars recovered turned up at scrap yards. Toy truck drivers were arrested with stolen cars on their trucks. And about 12 percent of burglaries involved houses stripped of metal.

Chief Flynn says the price of metal is drawing a lot of people into crime -- especially in these tough economic times. "That's a problem and one that we're going to look at exploring legislatively to see if we can come up with tighter regulation governing the turning over of scrap metal for payment at scrap yards," said Flynn.

Another troubling statistic -- juveniles carried out 30 percent of the robberies in 2011. Flynn hopes this does not become a trend.

In the end, Chief Flynn says making the crime statistics public helps people protect themselves -- and they, in turn, can help assist police. The analysis can also help the Milwaukee Police Department in getting officers to the trouble spots of the city.