Table of Contents 

  • Overview
  • Areas
  • Statistics
  • Organizations
  • References

 Overview 

  "Gun violence" refers to any crime that involves a firearm. This can include armed robbery, murder, homicide, assault with a firearm, etc. Gun violence is something that not only effects the people directly involved in the violent crime. It affects everyone in the surrounding community as well. Gun violence is a major issue in the city of Peoria, Illinois. It has been a growing issue in many cities including Peoria since the early 1990's. Gun violence is even referred to as a public health crisis by some in Peoria. [1]  However, in recent years, the number of reported incidents of gun violence per year have decreased.  According to the Peoria Police Department, the overall statistics regarding gun violence were down in 2022 compared to 2021, and the number of homicides and shootings were both lower in 2022 compared to 2021 by 27% and 28% respectively. [2].  This can be contributed to a few factors, one of which being upgraded police technology. The upgraded technology has helped the police department to be more effective at stopping crimes. Another key factor that has led to the decrease in violent crimes is a tighter bond between the police department and the community.  I did an interview covering gun violence, which you can listen tohere.

 Areas 

violent-crime-per-capita-map-peoria-il 5.webp

The map shown above shows violent crime per 1,000 Peoria residents with the areas in dark green being the safest, and the areas in red being more unsafe/ more violent crimes being committed in those areas.[3]

In the map shown above, the southeastern neighborhoods tend to have more violent crimes, which includes crimes involving firearms than the northwestern areas of the city.[3] In the Southeast neighborhoods, a person has a 1 in 65 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. In the northwestern part of Peoria, someone has a 1 in 483 chance of being a victim in a violent crime.[3] In Peoria, 80% of all of the gun violence cases take place in the 61603, 04, 05 (ZIP) codes. [1]

 Statistics 

  Part of the reason why gun violence is so difficult to control in some cities, such as Peoria, is because each case of gun violence is different, which means that there is no one solution that will stop all gun violence in Peoria. However, there are many factors that can lead someone to commit an act of gun violence. A few of these factors include, but are not limited to poverty, racism, trauma, and abuse. According to WCBU.org, "Nationally, gun violence is the leading cause of death of people aged 45 and under, with Black men 15 to 20 times more likely to be shot or assaulted with a firearm than white men."  [1] Abuse can lead to gun violence, because according to an analysis done by the police department in 2015, in which they analyzed 100 of the most violent offenders in the city of Peoria, 92 of the 100 offenders were either abused or was the abuser in domestic battery at some point in their life. [1]  Peoria had a higher amount of gun deaths per 100,000 people, than Chicago in 2021, because according to WCBU.org, "The numbers crunched out to 25-gun deaths per 100,000 people in Peoria that year; much higher than Chicago's 15-gun deaths per 100,000 people." [4]  However, these numbers are not uncommon in cities of a similar size to Peoria. 

 Organizations 

House of Hope

  House of Hope is a non-profit organization that is working to lower gun violence in Peoria. They do this through a variety of different services to help those at risk of committing gun violence, and also, they help those who were affected by gun violence. They have many different resources for those who were impacted by the effects of gun violence. "House of Hope" provides holistic services to assist participants’ mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, utilizing Trauma Informed Care in the highest at-risk areas to decrease violence within Peoria. [5] Some of the resources that they offer for those who are victims of gun violence including mentorship for at-risk youth, and youth grief support groups. [1] If you would like to contact them, you can reach them at (309) 839-8688. or you can visit their location in Peoria, at 514 Shelley St. , Peoria, IL, United States, Illinois. 

 References 

[1] Shelley, Tim. “Peoria's violence is viewed by some as a public health crisis. The solutions are complex.” WCBU.org. March 25, 2022. Peoria's violence is viewed by some as a public health crisis. The solutions are complex | WCBU Peoria . February 5, 2024.

[2] Kravetz, Andy. “'This is no accident': Gun violence in Peoria is down after years of increases, police say.” Journal Star. January 8, 2023. Peoria gun violence and homicides decrease, police say (pjstar.com). February 7, 2024

[3] "Peoria, Il Violent Crime Rates and Maps." CrimeGrade.org. no date. Peoria, IL Violent Crime Rates and Maps | CrimeGrade.org. February 26, 2024.

[4] Shelley, Tim. “Peoria’s struggles with rising gun violence in recent years are far from unique among similarly-sized U.S. cities.” WCBU.org. May 25, 2023. Peoria's struggles with rising gun violence in recent years are far from unique among similarly-sized U.S. cities | WCBU Peoria. February 5, 2024.

[5] "House of Hope Peoria, INC." Facebook.com. No date. House of Hope Peoria, INC. | Peoria IL | Facebook. March 5, 2024.