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Gun seizures, violent crime skyrocket in Cleveland and across U.S. amid pandemic

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 18:12:20-04

CLEVELAND — A troubling trend is unfolding in Cleveland: most types of violent crime, except for robberies, are up, according to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.

But it’s not just in Cleveland. “Firearm offenses are increasing in every city across the country and Cleveland is no different,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Brennan.

So far, there have been more murders in the first four months of this year compared to last, and the rate in which police are taking guns out of the hands of criminals is up 100% from the same time last year.

The map below shows the locations of all crime reports in the City of Cleveland over the last 15 days. Tap or mouse over each point for details.

"Last year, we confiscated a little over 400 weapons off the streets of the city of Cleveland from January to the first couple of weeks in April, this year, we’ve confiscated over 800 guns off the city streets,” said Williams.

"All of us thought the pandemic would slow some of that down and it appears to have had the opposite effect," explained Brennan.

The FBI, DEA, ATF and US Marshals have all gained more manpower, and according to Williams, the Cleveland Police Department is increasing staff too.

“We’re not going to arrest or prosecute out of this problem,” said Brennan.

That is why law enforcement and the US Attorney’s Office are working with community leaders, faith-based organizations and medical professionals to come up with a solution.

“Our primary goal is to save lives and the people in this district play a critical role in that, if they see something they need to say something,” added Brennan.

The chart below breaks down day and time of day Cleveland receives the most crime reports.

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