Ohio is a state with a diverse population and a rich history, but it also has its share of crime problems. According to the latest FBI statistics, Ohio had a violent crime rate of 309 per 100,000 people in 2020, which was higher than the national average of 388. Among the different types of violent crimes, robbery is one of the most common and dangerous ones, as it involves the use of force or threat of force to take someone’s property.
Robbery can happen anywhere and anytime, but some places are more prone to it than others. In Ohio, one city stands out as the robbery capital of the state: Akron. Akron is the fifth-largest city in Ohio, with a population of about 197,000 people. It is located in the northeastern part of the state, about 40 miles south of Cleveland. Akron is known for its industrial heritage, cultural diversity, and scenic parks, but it also has a reputation for being a high-crime area.
Akron’s Robbery Rate
According to the FBI, Akron had 1,180 robberies in 2020, which translates to a robbery rate of 599 per 100,000 people. This was the highest robbery rate among all the cities in Ohio with a population of more than 100,000. It was also more than twice the state average of 246 per 100,000, and more than three times the national average of 172 per 100,000.
Akron’s robbery rate has been consistently high for the past decade, ranging from 500 to 700 per 100,000. In comparison, the state and national robbery rates have been declining steadily, from 300 to 200 per 100,000 at the state level, and from 250 to 150 per 100,000 at the national level.
Akron’s Crime Hotspots
Most violent crime in Akron occurs in several areas, where crime rates may be up to 55% higher than those in the rest of the city. These areas include:
South Akron: This is the most dangerous area in Akron, with 43% higher crime than the city average and 1,304 violent crimes per 100,000 people. It is also the most densely populated area, with many low-income and minority residents. South Akron has a history of gang violence, drug trafficking, and prostitution, which contribute to the high robbery rate.
Downtown Akron: This is the central business district of Akron, where many offices, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues are located. It is also the hub of public transportation, with buses and trains connecting to other parts of the city and the region. Downtown Akron attracts many visitors and commuters, but it also attracts many criminals who target the vulnerable and unsuspecting. Downtown Akron has a robbery rate of 1,000 per 100,000, which is 67% higher than the city average.
West Akron: This is a large and diverse area that covers the western part of the city. It has a mix of residential and commercial properties, as well as some historic and cultural landmarks. West Akron has a robbery rate of 800 per 100,000, which is 33% higher than the city average. It also has a high rate of burglary and theft, which are often related to robbery.
Akron’s Crime Prevention Efforts
Akron’s police department has been working hard to combat the robbery problem in the city, using various strategies and initiatives. Some of these include:
Community policing: This involves building trust and cooperation between the police and the community, through regular patrols, meetings, events, and programs. The police aim to improve the quality of life and safety of the residents, as well as to prevent and solve crimes. Community policing also encourages the residents to report suspicious activities and to participate in crime prevention efforts.
Crime analysis: This involves collecting and analyzing data on crime patterns, trends, and locations, using advanced technology and software. The police use this information to identify the hotspots, the suspects, the motives, and the methods of robbery, and to deploy the resources and personnel accordingly. Crime analysis also helps the police to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies and to make adjustments as needed.
Crime prevention education: This involves educating the public on how to avoid becoming a victim of robbery, and how to react if they encounter one. The police provide tips and advice on how to protect oneself and one’s property, such as being alert and aware of the surroundings, avoiding dark and isolated places, locking the doors and windows, securing the valuables, and carrying a whistle or a pepper spray. The police also urge the public to call 911 immediately if they witness or experience a robbery, and to cooperate with the investigation.
Akron is a city with many attractions and opportunities, but it also faces a serious challenge of robbery. Akron has the highest robbery rate in Ohio, and one of the highest in the country. Robbery is a violent crime that can cause physical, emotional, and financial harm to the victims and the community. Akron’s police department is doing its best to reduce the robbery rate, using various methods and measures. However, the police cannot do it alone. They need the support and involvement of the public, the government, and the other stakeholders, to make Akron a safer and better place to live, work, and visit.