Crime down, homicides up for 2016 - WNEM TV 5

Crime down, homicides up for 2016

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The City of Saginaw is reporting a drop in crime for the 2016 year.

Saginaw Police Chief Bob Ruth released numbers on Jan. 4 outlining crimes officers responded to last year.

A 31 percent decrease in arson and a 24 percent drop in robbery helped in the overall downward trend, although the city did experience an increase in homicides and shootings.

In 2015, there were eight homicides in Saginaw, 11 were reported in 2016.

“I am happy with our homicide rate at 11 last year. Those numbers are extremely good.  I don’t like it that anybody died, I wish we didn’t have one homicide to report.  But the way society is at this point in time, we’re going to have homicides,” Ruth said. "As long as people are idolizing gangs, drugs and money, we're going to have homicides."

Despite the rise in homicides, Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said the drop in overall crime can be attributed to the tougher punishments from the county prosecutor's office. Federspiel said the prosecutor is keeping the notorious offenders off the streets.

"Taking these individuals off the street that are violent. Putting them in prison and then securing our streets here is huge. Without that, if it was a revolving door, you would see people out there on the streets with no penalty, no worries and they'd just go out and commit crimes," Federspiel said.

Saginaw Mayor Dennis Browning said the drop in crime is good news for Saginaw - a city still trying to redefine its image.

"We still have to fight this perception that Saginaw is a very dangerous place and in all essence, it's not. There's a small segment of the community that is involved in these major crimes. But the average person isn't even aware of these unless it's reported," Browning said.

For a full list of crimes, see the numbers below.

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