2021 End-of-Year Crime Statistics Show Drop in Overall Crime

Overall crime & homicides dropped in 2021 as Department launched new strategic direction

 CHARLOTTE, N.C. – [Monday, January 10, 2022] – Today, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) released its 2021 end of year crime report. It shows overall, crime dropped 5% in 2021. The department saw declines across many major categories. Violent crime (down 7%), homicides (down 18%) and property crime (down 4%) all fell in 2021 as the department made 4% fewer arrests. The total aggregate numbers for these percentage changes are below:

  • Overall index offenses reported in 2021 were 37,739 compared to 39,675 in 2020.
  • Violent crimes reported in 2021 were 7,554 compared to 8,090 in 2020.
  • Homicides reported in 2021 were 98 compared to 118 in 2020.
  • Property crimes reported in 2021 were 30,185 compared to 31,585 in 2020.
  • Arrests made in 2021 were 13,792 compared to 14,402 in 2020.

This report shows increases in a few categories. Rape, (up 19%) vehicle thefts, (up 5%) and vehicle break-ins (up 4%) all rose in 2021. The majority of the sex assault increase was due to cases involving a non-stranger (up 22%). The total aggregate numbers for these percentage changes are below:

  • Rapes reported in 2021 were 313 compared to 264 in 2020.
  • Vehicle thefts reported in 2021 were 2,983 compared to 2,852 in 2020.
  • Vehicle break-ins reported in 2021 were 10,439 compared to 10,044 in 2020.
  • Sexual assault cases involving a non-stranger reported in 2021 were 239 compared to 195 in 2020.

In 2021, with gun-related crimes on the rise, CMPD consolidated three units to debut its Crime Gun Suppression Team (CGST). The CGST was responsible for 162 arrests, 155 firearms seized, and 23 stolen firearms recovered this past year. With assistance from the CGST, CMPD managed to take 2,999 guns off the streets, a 33% increase from 2020.

In 2021, CMPD utilized existing crime-fighting tools to manage crime and solve investigations. CMPD's state-of-the-art real-time crime center (RTCC) assisted in 2,781 investigations this past year. The RTCC continuously monitors the city using more than 1,000 surveillance and Charlotte Department of Transportation cameras, an automated license plate reader system, and more than 400 electronically monitored pre-trial suspects. Through the RTCC's assistance, 275 violent cases were cleared in the initial investigation and 284 suspects were arrested. The RTCC also assisted in recovering 390 stolen cars and 19 missing persons.

Crime Stoppers continued its role as a critical tool in solving crimes with help from the community. Crime Stoppers saw a 3% increase in tips (3,341 overall) this past year, which helped clear 288 cases. Crime Stoppers also reported a 149% increase in property recovered ($132,000).

In 2021, CMPD upgraded technology and equipment in critical areas. Officers received redesigned body-worn cameras, reducing motion blur and enabling real-time features like live streaming. The department also purchased a new Bell 407 helicopter. It's equipped with an HD video camera and thermal imager, allowing officers to see and record events in greater detail. A new video link allows crew members to transmit video or thermal imagery directly to the RTCC.

Recruitment of new officers remains a top priority as the CMPD faces increasing numbers of retirements. During 2021, the CMPD recruitment campaign yielded 2,346 applications which resulted in 135 hires. In 2021, Chief Jennings signed the 30x30 Pledge, which is an initiative to have 30% of CMPD officers be women by the year 2030.

Looking to 2022, the CMPD has the following key areas of focus:

  • Campus Crime Stoppers Relaunch.
  • Gun Safety Campaign.
  • CMPD Serves and Engagement.
  • Public Feedback Campaign.
  • Internal Culture Strategic Direction.
  • Additional Civilian Resources for Traffic and Accident Management.

Since Chief Johnny Jennings was hired in 2020, CMPD has overhauled its vision and mission as well as implemented a strategic direction that included four main priorities such as crime management, community collaboration, professional accountability and employee wellness.  CMPD also launched its commUNITY collaboration customer experience training called CMPD Serves. The program is the first of its kind nationwide to improve internal and community engagement. The work aims to build on positive impressions and improve internal and external morale. Nearly 2,000 employees have received CMPD Serves training with all employees set to complete training by the end of the 1st quarter of 2022.

Click HERE to view Chief Jennings' press conference on the year-end report. 

Click HERE to view the 2021 End-of-Year Report.