Crime in Memphis, Tennessee
In 2006, the Memphis metropolitan area ranked number one in violent crimes for major cities around the U.S according to the FBI's annual crime rankings. In 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007, the Memphis metropolitan area ranked second most dangerous in the nation among cities with a population over 500,000. It also ranked as most dangerous in 2002. There are approximately 182 gangs in Memphis, Tennessee with 8,400 gang members in the county.
In 2004 violent crime in Memphis reached a record low for over a decade, that trend subsequently reversed. In 2005, Memphis was ranked the 4th most dangerous city with a population of 500,000 or higher in the U.S.
Crime in Memphis increased in 2005, and saw a dramatic rise in the first half of 2006. Nationally, cities follow similar trends, and crime numbers tend to be cyclical. Local experts and criminologists cite gang recruitment as one possible cause of the rise in crime in Memphis, and a reduction of 66% of federal funding to the Memphis Police Department. Between 2004 and 2008, the number of full-time officers in the Memphis Police Department fell by 23.2%.
In the first half of 2006, robbery of businesses increased 52.5%, robbery of individuals increased 28.5%, and homicide increased 18% over the same period of 2005. The Memphis Police Department has responded with the initiation of Operation Blue C.R.U.S.H. (Crime Reduction Using Statistical History), which targets crime hotspots and repeat offenders.
Memphis ended 2005 with 154 murders, and 2006 ended with 160. 2007 saw 164 murders, 2008 had 138, and 2009 had 132.
Recent statistics show a downward trend in crime in Memphis. Between 2006 and 2008, the crime rate fell by 16%. The first half of 2009 saw a reduction in serious crime of over 10% from the previous year. The Memphis Police Department's use of the FBI National Incident Based Reporting System, which is a more detailed method of reporting crimes than what is used in many other major cities, has been cited as a reason for Memphis's frequent appearance on lists of most dangerous U.S. cities.
In 2008, the Memphis Police Department had 1,549 full-time sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). In 2013, after several gang related robberies at Tom Lee Park, the Memphis Police Department said that "they often feel powerless to control these out-of-control teens."
- Conley, Christopher (September 27, 2007). "Memphis leads U.S. in violent crime". Commercial Appeal. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- "Morgan Quitno 2007 Crime Rankings". Morganquitno.com. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
- "Think Gangs Are Only In Memphis' Poorest Neighborhoods? Think Again". Retrieved Nov 2, 2011.
- "Morgan Quitno 2006 Crime Rankings". Morganquitno.com. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
- U.S. Department of Justice, Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008, p.4
- Memphis ended 2008 with 167 murders, a slight increase from the 164 reported in 2007. Ashby, Andrew (April 7, 2006). "Operation Blue C.R.U.S.H. Advances at MPD". Memphis Daily News 121 (76). Retrieved August 2, 2007.
- Conley, Christopher (June 29, 2009). "Memphis a victim of crime reports". Commercial Appeal. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
- U.S. Department of Justice, Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008, p.14
- Hall, Sabrina (April 23, 2013). "Police Say Teens Hard to Control In Mob Robberies". WREG.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.