Chicago murder rate down in January

Chicago police say the new year is off to a better start than last year when it comes to gun violence.

Murders were down by 50 percent last month compared with January of 2013, according to Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. Citywide, there were 20 murders. Most of them were shootings, with one stabbing and one beating. Police say there were 88 fewer shooting victims last month.  Superintendent McCarthy admits weather played a role in the low numbers, but says it’s not the whole story.

“Weather doesn’t cause or prevent crime,” Superintendent McCarthy said on WGN’s morning news.  “If it was such a strong factor we would have had zero murders based on the weather trend,” he added.

The lower number of homicides, he said, confirm a trend that has been taking place since the middle of 2012. Superintendent McCarthy said the systems in place are working.

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