(COLUMBUS) - A story on Time magazine's business website, released today, paints Columbus as a city with a huge increase in the amount of violent crime, but city officials say the report is misleading.
According to the story, (http://business.time.com/2014/02/12/10-cities-where-violent-crime-is-soaring/) Columbus made the list because the city had a 70.1percent increase in violent crimes over the five years from 2007 to 2012. Those crimes include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddix says that part of the increase was an error in the way that police were reporting aggravated assaults to the FBI. Early in the reporting period, police were coding aggravated assaults as simple assaults. When the error was caught in 2009, it caused a leap in the number of violent crimes, reflected in the statistics.
Maddix said there were 53 violent crimes reported in 2009, compared to 78 in 2010, after the error was discovered. In the past two years, the number of violent crimes has dropped by 6 percent, Maddix said.
Further, the violent crime rate in Columbus is less than half the national average, Maddix said. The nationwide rate is 386.9 per 100,000 compared to 172.8 per 100,000 in 2012.
The Time website reported that there were only 76 violent crimes in the Columbus metropolitan area in 2007, the second lowest of all of the country's metropolitan areas.
The Time report also indicated that motor vehicle crime was up by nearly 50 percent in Columbus over the five-year period, compared to a 37 percent decline nationwide. However Maddix said that those numbers are skewed by the large number of mopeds stolen in Columbus.
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