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Cleveland saw 177 homicides in 2020, the highest number in recent memory

The figure was up 44% from 2019.

CLEVELAND — 2020 was a difficult year across most respects, but now, new statistics are confirming just how bad things got when it comes to crime in Cleveland.

The FBI says there were 177 homicides in the city last year, up 44% from 123 in 2019 and a whopping 136% from just 75 in 2010. It's by far the highest number in recent memory.

Overall, violent crime in Cleveland was up 8% year-over-year (5,869 confirmed incidents), although overall crime decreased slightly and rapes, burglaries, and common thefts were all significantly down. Together with the killings, a 19% jump in felonious assaults led to the increase in violent crime, while arsons and motor vehicle grand thefts were also on the rise.

Murder and violent crime rates have been up in cities across the country, with some blaming the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession. Others also feel police departments don't have the staffing needed to meet the challenge head-on.

"Unless you put more men and women in blue on the street and beef up patrol, unless you ramp those up significantly, we are not gonna get a handle on this," Cleveland City Councilman Michael Polensek claimed in an interview with 3News' Rachel Polansky earlier this month.

This is the first time Cleveland has seen an increase in both homicides and violent crime since 2016, with the latter hitting a decade peak of 6,787 incidents. Despite the rise in 2020, last year's number is still 14% lower than the 2016 apex.

The FBI statistics, which go back to 2010, were released by the Cleveland Division of Police. You can view them below:

Credit: Cleveland Division of Police/FBI
Credit: Cleveland Division of Police/FBI

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