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Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams says crime is down in five of seven major categories for the first three quarters of the year.
Williams said crime is down in homicides, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and auto thefts. The categories with higher numbers are rape and larcenies. Because of those increases, overall crime in Wichita is up 8.9 percent compared to last year.
Williams said there is no trend toward rape incidents involving strangers. He said more rape victims are reporting crimes and most of them involve acquaintances. That has resulted in a higher clearance rate for rape cases. Rapes were up 12.4 percent at the end of September, compared to last year.
Williams said there is a higher trend of thefts from buildings, with purses and other items being taken from places like offices and exercise facilities. Larcenies are up 15.9 percent.
There have been 17 homicides reported so far in 2012, compared to 22 at this time a year ago, keeping homicides are down 22.7 percent.
Williams said he is constantly asked "Is Wichita Safe?" He said the answer is yes, but police and citizens need to remain vigilant and work together. He said the department is continuing to work on a reorganization to operate more efficiently and to meet changing needs of the community.
Williams said there will be a focus on traffic safety with the holidays coming up, and the police department will continue to work on anti-gang measures. Williams said there have been four gang-related homicides this year, compared to eight a year ago. Other crimes involving gangs are down compared to 2011.