End-of-year 2021 crime statistics show overall crime drop

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – [Monday, January 10, 2022] – Today, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) released its 2021 Year-End Crime Report. It shows that overall crime is down 5% in 2021. The department recorded declines in many major categories. Violent crime (down 7%), homicides (down 18%), and property crimes (down 4%) all declined in 2021, with the department making 4% of arrests in less. The aggregate total numbers for these percentage changes are below:

  • Overall, the index offenses reported in 2021 were 37,739, compared to 39,675 in 2020.
  • Violent crimes reported in 2021 were 7,554, up from 8,090 in 2020.
  • HomicIdeas reported in 2021 were 98 compared to 118 in 2020.
  • Property crimes reported in 2021 were 30,185 compared to 31,585 in 2020.
  • Arrests made in 2021 were 13,792 compared to 14,402 in 2020.

This report shows increases in a few categories. Rape, (up 19%) vehicle thefts (up 5%) and vehicle burglaries (up 4%) all increased in 2021. The majority of the increase in sexual assault was due to to cases involving a non-foreigner (up 22%). The aggregate total numbers for these percentage changes are below:

  • The rapes reported in 2021 were 313 compared to 264 in 2020.
  • Vehicle thefts reported in 2021 were 2,983 compared to 2,852 in 2020.
  • Vehicle break-ins reported in 2021 were 10,439, up from 10,044 in 2020.
  • Sexual assault cases involving a non-stranger reported in 2021 were 239 compared to 195 in 2020.

In 2021, as gun crime escalated, the CMPD consolidated three units to launch its Crime Gun Suppression Team (CGST). The CGST has been responsible for 162 arrests, 155 seized firearms and 23 stolen firearms recovered over the past year. With the help of CGST, CMPD succeeded in removing 2,999 firearms from the streets, a 33% increase from 2020.

In 2021, CMPD used existing crime-fighting tools to manage crime and resolve investigations. CMPD’s state-of-the-art Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC) has participated in 2,781 investigations over the past year. The RTCC continuously monitors the city using more than 1,000 surveillance cameras and the Charlotte Department of Transportation, an automated license plate reader system and more than 400 suspects awaiting trial under electronic surveillance. Thanks to RTCC assistance, 275 cases of violence were closed during the initial investigation and 284 suspects were arrested. RTCC also helped recover 390 stolen cars and 19 missing people.

Crime Stoppers continued to play its role as a vital tool in solving crime with the help of the community. Crime Stoppers recorded a 3% increase in tips (3,341 total) in the past year, resulting in 288 cases being resolved. Crime Stoppers also reported a 149% increase in property recovered ($ 132,000).

In 2021, CMPD improved technology and equipment in critical areas. Agents received redesigned body cameras, reducing motion blur and enabling real-time features like live streaming. The ministry also purchased a new Bell 407 helicopter. It is equipped with an HD video camera and a thermal camera, allowing officers to view and record events in more detail. A new video link allows crew members to transmit video or thermal images directly to the RTCC.

Recruiting new staff remains a top priority as the CMPD faces an increasing number of retirements. During the year 2021, the CMPD recruitment campaign generated 2,346 applications which resulted in 135 hires. In 2021, Chief Jennings signed the 30×30 Pledge, which is an initiative to have 30% of CMPD officers be women by 2030.

By 2022, the CMPD focuses on the following main areas of intervention:

  • Campus Crime Stoppers relaunch.
  • Gun Safety Campaign.
  • CMPD services and engagement.
  • Public feedback campaign.
  • Strategic direction of internal culture.
  • Additional civilian resources for traffic and accident management.

Since Chief Johnny Jennings was hired in 2020, the CMPD has revamped its vision and mission and implemented a strategic direction that included four main priorities such as crime management, community collaboration, professional accountability and employee well-being. CMPD has also launched its community collaboration customer experience training called CMPD Serves. The program is the first of its kind nationwide to enhance internal and community engagement. The work aims to build on positive impressions and improve internal and external morale. Almost 2,000 employees have received CMPD Serves training and all employees are expected to complete the training by the end of Q1 2022.

Click HERE to watch Chief Jennings’ press conference on the Year-End Report.

Click HERE to view the 2021 year-end report.