Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) recently criticized Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for the low rate of arrests made in the city.

Data published by Wirepoints shows that during 2022 in Chicago, arrests were made in only 5% of offenses for major crimes that included murder, sexual assault, aggravated battery and carjacking, significantly down from the 10% that was recorded in 2019.

Caulkins believes that Lightfoot is in denial about that city's crime problem. 

"You’re never going to fix the problem if you don’t admit the problem and I believe the fact that Mayor Lightfoot won't do that makes her unqualified for reelection," Caulkins told Chambana Sun.

Caulkins added that police response has been lacking because officers don't think that criminals will be punished. 

"Because the prosecution numbers are what they are, why would a police officer keep taking the risk of arresting someone when they know the criminals won't be prosecuted. That has to be terribly demoralizing," Caulkins said. 

Caulkins explained his multi-pronged approach to reverse the trend of soaring crime in Chicago.

"The easiest piece of the puzzle is to actually prosecute criminals, to back up law enforcement," Caulkins said. "The second part is to say anyone found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a crime should face the maximum sentence. And finally, I think we need to get into these communities and fix the education problem and create an economic environment where people have the opportunity to make a living."

The data by Wirepoints shows that arrest rates varied by the type of “major crime,” based on the seven categories that cities have long reported to the federal government, with Chicago’s homicide arrest rate down 5% to 29% in 2022 and some 13% lower than the 41% in 2020. 

The highest arrest rate within thefts in 2022 was 16% due to the nearly 9,000 retail theft arrests, meaning more than four of five retail thieves in Chicago escape justice. The nearly 20,000 thefts “over $500” resulted in arrests just 15% of the time and the nearly 19,000 thefts “$500 and under” led to arrests in just 1.6% of cases. For the almost 5,000 “thefts from a building” the arrest rate was 0.5%.