Winnebago Co. Still Number One in Crime

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Crime continues to rise in the stateline as Winnebago County has the state's highest crime rate for the second year in a row.

According to newly released statistics, crime jumped eight percent in Winnebago County in 2002. County officials say the increase could be a result of the downturn in the economy and the county's crowded jail. State's attorney Paul Logli says building a new jail will help keep more criminals off the streets, but it won't be built for several years.

Ranking by cities with ten thousand or more residents, Rockford has the fifth worse crime rate. With a six-percent increase from last year. Loves park ranks ninth with a 26-percent increase. That jump is attributed to a large increase in burglaries in Loves Park last year. Freeport was 13th. Statewide, violent crimes have decreased by more than 1,000.

State's attorney Logli says the county will also have new community based correctional programs online this fall to help people turn their lives around and reduce repeat offenders.