Cities throughout the country are reporting increases in the rate of violent crimes in 2020. Louisville is no exception. 

Data collected through August 8 by the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department reveals the same type of data that other cities are notating. The rate of violent crimes is increasing, while the rates of other types of crime are decreasing.

The data is a preliminary report. It does not include information from cities in Jefferson County. As with other cities, officials cite the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest as factors for the rise in violent crime rates and the decrease in other crime rates.

A Look at 2020 Crime Rates in Louisville 

There has been an increase in the rate of assaults, homicides, auto thefts, robberies, and other violent crimes in 2020. Overall, the city has experienced almost a ten percent increase in violent crime reports. 

When compared to the same period in 2019, there has been a 35 percent increase in the number of homicides in Louisville in 2020. Robberies had the second-highest increase in crime rates in 2020. The number of robberies in Louisville has increased by just over 27 percent this year.

The rates of assaults and auto theft also increased this year. The rate of assaults increased by nine percent. Auto thefts increased by just over seven percent this year.

However, some crime rates have decreased in 2020 from the rates in 2019. For example, overall thefts are down by 17.4 percent. Rapes also decreased by about 34 percent this year. Sexual offenses decreased by almost eight percent.

The largest decrease in crime rates was in the narcotics categories. Drug offenses decreased by 46.3 percent in 2020.

Factors That Impact the Changes in Crime Rates in Louisville

COVID-19 can be a contributing factor in some changes in crime rates. Domestic violence crime rates may have increased as people are forced to stay at home. If someone is living with an abuser, being trapped at home during an extremely stressful period could increase the rate of abuse.

On the other hand, staying at home because of the coronavirus could deter burglaries and auto thefts. When people are at home, thieves are less likely to commit crimes. Cars that remain at home instead of in parking lots are less likely to be stolen or broken into to steal items.

Homicides could be on the rise because of the pandemic as people are under intense pressure. The civil unrest that is gripping the nation is also another factor that could impact the sharp increase in the number of homicides in Louisville during 2020.

Another factor that could influence crime rates is a decrease in patrols. Police officers may not be interacting with people due to social distancing. Police may not pull over every vehicle for a traffic violation or write a citation for minor offenses.

Protect Yourself Against Being the Victim of a Crime

The Louisville Metro Police Department provides crime prevention tips on its website. You can find information about home security, auto theft prevention, personal safety, and bicycle tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim. 

Taking steps to protect yourself and your home, vehicle, and business can help prevent physical harm and financial losses. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the police department for additional information. 

What Should I Do if I am Arrested in Louisville?

The police continue to investigate crimes and make arrests. If you are involved in illegal activities, you need to understand that you could be under investigation. The police may be watching you and gathering evidence the prosecution can use to obtain an arrest warrant or indictment. 

If you encounter police officers, remain calm. 

You can ask if you are being detained. If the police officer tells you that you are not being detained, ask the officer if you are free to leave. If so, leave.

If you are being detained, ask the officer why you are being detained. Police officers can detain you for a reasonable period to investigate matters. If the matter escalates to an arrest, ask why you are being arrested. 

After asking why you are being arrested, remain silent. Do not talk to the police officers to try to explain why you are innocent or make a statement. Talking to the police never helps a person under arrest.

Remaining silent except for asking for a criminal defense lawyer is the best thing you can do for yourself. A criminal defense lawyer investigates the charges against you and gives you advice regarding your options for a defense.