Crime in Cincinnati

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Cincinnati, Ohio
Crime rates* (2014)
Violent crimes
Homicide 20.2
Forcible rape 76.6**
Robbery 455.5
Aggravated assault 353.1
Total violent crime 905.4
Property crimes
Burglary 1619.2
Larceny-theft 3574.1
Motor vehicle theft 368.9
Arson 118.6
Total property crime 5562.2

*Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.

** Revised definition[1]

Source: FBI 2014 UCR data

Crime in Cincinnati, Ohio has been a concern of residents since the 18th century.

Earliest years[edit]

The first recorded crime in Cincinnati's history was a petty theft in 1789. Under the judgement of William McMillan, informally appointed justice of the peace, one Patrick Grimes was sentenced to twenty-nine lashes after being caught stealing cucumbers. This occurred during the first year of the settlement, then still named "Losantiville", at which time food and other resources were extremely scarce.[2] Controversies over law enforcement quickly followed the establishment of government in the community: the military commander at Fort Washington deemed the region to be under his government, rejecting any authority set up by the settlers. When a second crime was reported to Judge McMillan, the accused fled to the fort for refuge, and the commander ordered Losantiville's court to renounce its jurisdiction. To this the judge replied with a message suggesting that the commander mind his own business, and blows ensued when a detachment of soldiers was sent to arrest the judge. However, permanent civilian law enforcement was established soon after the incident. In August 1788, the Northwest Territory legislature, meeting in Marietta, had enacted an enabling act creating a Court of Quarter Sessions for the region, and local residents quickly took advantage of the law's provisions; William McMillan was named one of the court's first judges.[3]

Changing crime rates[edit]

Crime increased after the 2001 riots, but has been decreasing ever since.

Before the riot of 2001, Cincinnati's overall crime rate was dropping dramatically and had reached its lowest point since 1992.[4] After the riot violent crime increased. Reflecting national trends, crime rates in Cincinnati have dropped in all categories from 2006 to 2010.[5]

In 2011, using FBI data, the CQ Press ranked Cincinnati the 16th most dangerous city in the United States.[6] However, the FBI web site recommends against using its data for rankings, since there are many factors that influence crime rates.[7] Also, the CQ Press did not include Chicago, Illinois in its ranking.[6]

According to the Hamilton County Prosecutor, the vast majority of people being murdered are inside the city and are African American.[8] In 2009, 44 black men and 11 black women were murdered, but no whites.[8] According to the Prosecutor, people almost always commit murders inside their racial classifications, and there is a subset in the underclass of Cincinnati which "commit a lot of violent crime and tend to be black,"[8] similar to national trends.

Year Homicides
2010 72
2011 67
2012 53
2013 74
2014 63
2015 71


Distribution by neighborhood[edit]

The distribution of most serious crimes by neighborhood. (January–June, 2008).

During the first half of 2008 approximately half of the most serious crimes (i.e. murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft) were concentrated in 10 of the 53 Cincinnati neighborhoods.

The neighborhoods with the highest percentage of these crimes were East Westwood, Downtown, South Fairmount, North Fairmount, and English Woods. The neighborhoods with the lowest percentage of these crimes were Mount Adams, West End, O'Bryonville, Riverside, and College Hill.


  1. ^ "FBI". 
  2. ^ Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City and Its Neighbors. American Guide Series. Cincinnati: Wiesen-Hart, 1943, 8.
  3. ^ Greve, Charles Theodore. Centennial History of Cincinnati and Representative Citizens. Vol. 1. Chicago" Biographical, 1904, 309.
  4. ^ "Crime Rate Dropping Slightly Murders, Rapes Up, Says New FBI Study". 
  5. ^ Semuels, Alana (May 29, 2015). "How to Fix a Broken Police Department". Route Fifty. Atlantic Media. 
  6. ^ a b "CQ Press Crime Ranking 2011" (PDF). Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Caution Against Ranking". FBI. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "Ten years later: Black-on-black violent crime rate rises". 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Crime & Courts - -". Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ "New city officials face hangover of problems". Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ Elgazzar, Kareem (January 2, 2015). "INTERACTIVE MAP: Killings, shootings and violent crime all down in Cincinnati in 2014". WCPO-TV. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  13. ^