Report: Violent crime in Chico spikes, police chief prepares response

Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien told KRCR that his department is preparing a detailed response to a report in USA Today that lists Chico as ranked 19th in the nation in increased violent crime.

USA Today called violent crime a broad designation consisting of the most egregious infractions, such as assault, robbery, rape and murder.

According to its findings, USA Today reported that Chico has seen a violent crime rate increase by 35.7 percent from 2011 through 2016.

"The violent crime rate in Chico rose from 259 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2011 to 351 per 100,000 residents in 2016." reported USA Today, adding that this was the third largest of any metro area in California and one of the largest in the country.

The report also noted that the property crime rate rose by 34.5 percent over the past five years.

O'Brien said that USA Today's reporting includes crimes in all of Butte County and not just Chico. He also noted that the crime rate needs to be put in better perspective.

"Just to provide context, crime went down overall from 2016 in comparison to 2015," said O'Brien. "We're going to have stats that will show trends not only in 2016 but in 2017, and I'll respond to all of that."

O'Brien said that his report will be ready for release by the end of the week.

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