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Overall, there was less crime in Bloomington in 2020, but domestic violence, sex assault reports rise

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From the City of Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - Crime was down 14.1% in Bloomington last year, but COVID-19 had a mixed impact on the data, according to the city's interim police chief.

Greg Scott provided the city council Monday night with the department's annual report that also showed a spike in sexual assault reports compared to 2019.

Scott said he's not sure why sexual assaults jumped 30.6% with 64 reports in 2020, from 49 the previous year.

The interim chief said the increase might be due to a change in the way police handle such cases. Officers are now making reports even when alleged victims don't want to pursue their cases.

Robberies fell almost 57%, domestic battery cases increased 9.1%, and there were 95 fewer DUI arrests in Bloomington last year, all because people were staying at home during the pandemic.

"Anytime you get people in an enclosed space for a prolonged period of time, it seems like domestic violence goes up," said Scott.

"We expected to see a little bit of a spike (in domestic violence) due to COVID, and we did," Scott said.

Police reported 27 shootings in Bloomington last year, down from 33 in 2019.

Scott said police are finding the shootings are generally not gang-related.

"These are mostly folks who are having a personal conflict. Rather than talk it out or old school yard stuff, they decide to settle it with a firearm," said Scott.

There was one homicide in Bloomington last year, and one the year before, compared to nine homicides in 2018.

Howard Packowitz

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