Chicagoans react to January murder statistics - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Chicagoans react to January murder statistics

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The brutal weather over the last month may have helped produce some good news when it comes to Chicago's crime rate, a rate that has in the past put Chicago at the tipping point.

The murder rate is half of what it was a year ago at this point, and Chicago Police admit that the weather may have played some role, but shouldn't get all of the credit.

A year ago, the January 29th murder of Hadiya Pendleton capped a month when citywide, there were 40 murders. Now, Chicago Police say their statistics show 20 murders this January -- a 50 percent drop-off.

Temperatures this January averaged 11 degrees colder than last year, snowfall is way up too – so is that why crime is down?

"Weather is a very important contributing factor, but I do want to say this… Regardless of season, regardless of weather, we have a very clear strategy. Strategic policing, strong parenting… what I would also call prevention investments in our after school and summer jobs… types of activities to keep our kids safe," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Saturday.

Five of the twenty shootings last month occurred in the Chicago Lawn police district on the southwest side, where this afternoon, some residents told me the cold weather does keep troublemakers off the streets.

"It's the weather, that's why crime's stopping," said Chicago Lawn resident Leroy Davis.

"It's not because Chicago's doing a good job, there's less people outside," said another Chicagoan Vincent Brown.

However, others credited good police work.

"I don't necessarily think it has anything to do with the weather. I think the police are putting up a good surveillance in the area, being around on the spot," said resident Tony Gray.

"More patrol men on the street and stuff like that, crime will go down a little more. So to be honest with you, it isn't the cold… could be hot, or cold out, still, crime's going to be crime," said area resident Kevin Whitworth.

The January numbers reveal the most common murder victims were 19-year-old males, victims ranged in age from 15 to 44, and 18 of the 20 murders involved shootings.

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