08-07-2022 19:16 PM
Chicago is one of the most iconic cities in the United States and the world. She is ceaselessly commemorated for her music, culture, intellect, gastronomy, tourist attractions, festivals, history, etc. She has even inspired certain iterations of Batman’s Gotham City. The commendable traits of Chicago can be listed ad nauseum. Her impact on the world cannot be overstated.
However, over the years Chicago has become infamous for its crime. This is not a new problem. Chicago was the sandbox of Al Capone during the prohibition era. There is a long epoch of Chicago violence that was perpetrated on and by European immigrants notably the Irish. In fact, violence was so bad that one of Chicago’s earliest police stations was crowned with a turret. “Bloody Maxwell” was filled with crime, especially violence. This was not a fleeting phase, as it was notorious for its crime for over a century from 1850-1950. However, after many decades of violence and violence and crime shifted to other demographics for various reasons, that won’t be expounded upon here at this time.
Around 2012 Chicago gained the controversial and infamous moniker of Chiraq. This is because more people succumb to acts of violence in Chicago than in war-torn Iraq. In the early 2010s, the homicides in Chicago were over 500 and it gained international attention. In 2021 the homicides in Chicago exceeded 800 without much news coverage.
While crime is horrific the City of Chicago dataset designer deserves recognition. Their dataset was very thorough and contained very pertinent information. This report was designed to answer very specific ad-hoc questions with ease. For example, someone can see how many crimes were committed inside a barbershop. Someone could also see how many crimes took place on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) property between the hours of midnight and 5 AM on any specified range of dates. If someone is interested in homicides, they can see incidents that were considered first-degree murder, manslaughter, or reckless homicide individually. (Spoiler alert: over 99% of homicides are first-degree). The data also shows a percentage of domestic instances for any given crime. With the dataset anyone who is interested in Chicago crime can estimate how bad the crime in Chicago truly is, using data instead of just newspaper articles.
While the insights data can give are elucidating it is important to note the limitations. The biggest limitations are that the dataset only records incidents that are known and recorded by the police. Many crimes are likely under-reported. For example, adultery is an actual crime listed on the dataset. Yet the cases of adultery from 2001 to June 20th, 2022, are less than ten. This is obviously encompassing a small number of cases of infidelity. Other crimes such as human trafficking, and theft may be under-reported. Such are the limitations of data. Despite these limitations, this may be one of the best ways to inform oneself of the amount of crime in Chicago a tragic yet fascinating issue.
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