SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — New crime statistics released by the Springfield Police Department reveal good news: reported crime is down.

SPD Chief Paul Williams presented the 2022 annual crime report to the Springfield City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

In the last couple of years, the city of Springfield has seen a steady decline in total crimes committed in the city.

“We had a slight downward trend from 2020-2021 but in 2022 about 17% overall decrease in all crimes,” Williams said.

In 2020, there were 25,686 Group A offenses reported. Group A offenses include crimes against people, property and the community as a whole.

“Crimes against persons” are offenses such as murder, rape, kidnapping and assault. “Crimes against property” include theft, arson, welfare fraud and hacking. “Crimes against society” include drug violations, weapons offenses, animal cruelty and prostitution.

In 2021, there were 24,101 crimes reported, a slight decrease from the previous year.

In 2022, there was a major decrease from the year prior — 20,009 crimes were reported.

Chief Williams announced that in the crimes against people category, there was a 5% decrease from 2021, but the number of murders was the same as in 2021: 17.

Chief Williams that in the crimes against property category, one thing that he credited the police force with was their efforts in stopping the number of theft of motor vehicle parts — specifically, catalytic converters. Those numbers are down more than 50%.

In the crimes against society category, the two crimes that had the highest reported numbers were drugs and narcotics violations and drug equipment violations. There was about a 20% decrease in both of those categories.

One area of concern that the SPD would like to address is the number of openings in the police force.

“[We’re] at 48 vacant positions,” Williams said. “Still, way too many. It was less than a year ago when we had 60, so we’re slowly making progress.”