South Bend Police released the crime statistics for this past mo - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Police released the crime statistics for this past month

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They are numbers no one wants to see. Violent crimes like rape and murder are still at startling highs in South Bend.

"The murder rate has gone up and we see that and it concerns us completely as a whole, because it hurts us," Laura A. Vasquez, Board of Public Safety Chairwoman, said. 

The murder rate has gone up 250 percent since last year. Rapes have gone up 52 percent from year to year. One bright spot is, violent crime, in general. It has gone down four percent from year to year when you factor in crimes like robbery and burglary. 

"I'm not satisfied with any of these stats at the level they're at and we are working everyday to lower crime and disorder in South Bend," Chief Ronald Teachman, South Bend Police Department, said. 

Vasquez says they've intensified the department's community policing and they believe that's helped.

"That way the policeman knows 'you know what? This person's not from this area or this person why are they coming out from their neighborhood.' So that's helping a little bit, but the numbers do concern us," Vasquez said.

Chief Teachman says every week they get together to decide where to allocate resources and how to encourage the community to report crime.

"We don't have a benchmark measure to study whether we've improved our relationship with the community such that they're engaging with us now and relationship with the community such that they're engaging with us now and reporting these crimes more than they were or if there's actually more illegal behavior occurring on our streets as to sexual assault and rape," Teachman said.

While they'll never know whether the increase is victims more comfortable reporting or there's just more crime, police say they'll continue working multiple approaches to bring the numbers down. 

 You can find the complete May 2014 Crime Stats report here.

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