DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Officials in Detroit say homicides and overall violent crime were down last year in the city.

Police Chief James Craig announced at a news conference Thursday that the 267 homicides committed in 2017 were 38 fewer than the previous year and the lowest since 1966 when there were 214.

“By way of example,” the chief pointed out, “by the year-end, the Eighth Precinct reduced homicides by 37 percent.”

Statistics also show carjackings dropped from 381 two years ago to 303 last year; rape from 593 to 587; nonfatal shootings from 957 to 842; and robberies from 3,080 to 2,596.

Craig said his department is “not waving the flag of success, but there’s steady progress.”

Officials say having more officers on the street, cooperating with other police agencies and updated data gathering technology have helped reduce crime.

Speaking alongside Craig, Mayor Mike Duggan gave some credit to those participating in the city’s Ceasefire program, targeting potentially violent criminals.

“We sit and say if you continue down the path of gun violence, here’s the coordinated resources that are coming,” the mayor said. “If you would like to get an education and job training, here are the resources that are available to you.”

“And every one of these finishes with a mom who lost a child to gun violence, talking directly to these individuals,” Duggan added. “It has been a very powerful experience.”

Property crime like burglaries and vehicle theft also were down last year from 2016.

This comes after Detroit crime stats made national headlines last September in a less positive light. Numbers released by the FBI showed about a third of all violent crime in the Michigan occurred in city, including half of the murders in the state. [How safe is your city?].

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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