NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As of September 2, preliminary data shows reports of homicide and violent crime in Nashville and Davidson County have decreased from last year, but auto theft continues to be the fastest-rising crime in the area.
While there have been 20 additional homicides reported since July 29, the 76 homicides to date reflect an almost 4% decrease from the homicide rate at the same time last year. That’s according to unofficial reports in the Metro Nashville Police Department’s weekly crime initiative book.
Most violent crimes reported in the area have gone down compared to last year’s numbers, but preliminary reports show property crime is up 9.3%. That number is likely being driven up by a more than 48% increase in auto theft, with over 3,200 thefts reported so far this year.
The weekly report prepared by the Metro Nashville Police Department Crime Analysis Section provides data on all part one offenses, including homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.
According to the MNPD, “these serious crimes” are the focus of police activity. Arson offenses in Davidson County are not included in public MNPD Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) because those offenses are investigated by the Nashville Fire Department.
Although the data is reviewed by the MNPD for accuracy and completeness, it does not reflect official counts. Below is a breakdown of the crimes that have been reported in Nashville and Davidson County so far this year.
Violent crime is composed of four offenses: homicide, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crimes are those offenses which involve force or threat of force.
According to unofficial reports, overall violent crime in Nashville and Davidson County has dropped about 1.9% compared to the same time last year, when violent crime was on the rise, with a total of about 6,002 violent crimes reported by Sept. 2, 2023.
The largest drop in violent crime has been in the MNPD’s Hermitage precinct, where preliminary reports reflect a 16.4% decrease. The police department’s Madison precinct has continued to see the largest increase in violent offenses, with a 14.9% jump from last year.
Unofficial reports show there have been 76 homicides reported in Nashville and Davidson County as of Sept. 2, 2023 — another 10 more than were reported at the beginning of August. However, that is a 3.8% decrease from the 79 homicides reported by Sept. 2, 2022.
While homicides have decreased in the South, Hermitage and Madison precincts, reports have either increased or leveled out in all others. The Midtown Hills precinct has seen the largest rise in homicides, with a 333.3% increase compared to the same period last year.
According to preliminary reports, 13 homicides were reported in the precinct by Sept. 2, 2023, and only three were reported by Sept. 2, 2022. Part of that rise can be attributed to a deadly mass shooting at The Covenant School in March.
Officers in all eight police precincts included in the report have responded to at least four homicides this year, with five of those precincts reporting between 11 and 13 homicides. Compared to 2022, there were more homicides reported in January this year.
The homicide rate was higher this year, until it began leveling out with last year’s numbers in July. The majority of reported victims have been in the 18 to 34 age range. However, as of Sept. 2, 2023, two victims have been 65 years or older and five have been 12 years or younger.
Overall, unofficial reports show rape has increased about 2% in Nashville and Davidson County compared to the same time last year, with 357 reports made in 2022 and 364 reports made by Sept. 2, 2023.
Reports of rape had previously been decreasing since May, when rape was up about 7.2%. The majority have been reported in the MNPD’s South precinct, where preliminary reports show there has been a 15% increase, with 92 rapes reported by the end of August.
There have been 4,693 incidences of aggravated assault reported in Nashville and Davidson County so far this year — an about 0.3% decrease from the 4,708 aggravated assaults reported by the same time last year, according to unofficial reports.
The FBI’s UCR Program defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. The majority of aggravated assaults have also been reported in the MNPD’s South precinct.
The total number of robberies reported in Nashville and Davidson County has dropped about 11% so far this year, according to preliminary reports. Overall, there have been 869 reports made, which is 107 less than the same period last year.
Nearly every police precinct has seen a decrease in robberies, with the exception of the South precinct where unofficial reports show there has been an 8.4% increase. The largest decrease has been in the West precinct, where robberies have dropped 32.4%.
Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson. According to the UCR Program, the object of theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims.
So far this year, unofficial reports show property crime in Nashville and Davidson County has increased by about 9.3%. In total, 20,115 incidents have been reported compared to the 18,402 incidents reported by the same time last year.
The majority of property offenses have been reported in the police department’s South precinct, where property crime has risen by about 35.3% since the same time last year. The Central precinct has seen the largest decrease in property crime at about 7.4%.
Burglary remains the offense with the largest decline in Nashville and Davidson County, with every single police precinct reporting a decrease compared to the same time last year. Overall, preliminary reports show incidences of burglary have dropped nearly 24.2%.
Burglary involves the unlawful entry of a home or business. In the Metro area, the largest decline has been in commercial burglary. According to unofficial reports, 1,004 commercial burglaries were reported by Sept. 2, 2022, compared to just 701 so far this year.
Residential burglary has also dropped 20%. The Midtown Hills precinct has seen the sharpest decline in burglaries, with 425 incidents reported by this time last year and only 223 reports made by Sept. 2, 2023. That represents a 47.5% decrease.
While burglary reports in Nashville and Davidson County have sharply declined, preliminary reports reflect an about 9.1% increase in larceny. Examples of larceny are thefts of bicycles, motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting or pocket-picking.
The police department’s South precinct has seen the most considerable rise in larceny, with an about 29.6% increase and a total of 2,793 incidents reported so far this year. However, incidences of larceny have decreased 5.9% in the Central precinct.
Auto theft has been one of the fastest-rising crimes in Nashville and Davidson County, according to unofficial reports. In total, 3,237 auto thefts have been reported so far this year. That’s 586 more reports since July and a 48.2% increase from the 2,184 thefts reported by Sept. 2, 2022.
The South precinct has been hit the hardest, with a 102.5% increase in auto thefts and 972 incidents reported compared to 480 last year. Only one police precinct, the Central precinct, has seen a decrease in auto thefts, with an 8.3% drop from the 121 thefts reported last year.