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Is violent crime going up all over Wisconsin? PolitiFact Wisconsin looks into state rep's claim

Posted at 8:03 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 21:17:03-05

Is violent crime going up all over Wisconsin? PolitiFact Wisconsin with the answer.

Republicans in the state Assembly are trying to show the need for more tough-on-crime laws by suggesting violent crime is up in Wisconsin.

"That was the claim from state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, a Republican from New Berlin, who said between 2008 and 2017, violent crime had rose in all but two cities across the state of Wisconsin," said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says Sanfelippo was using FBI violent crime numbers to make his case but the numbers were outdated.

"He didn't include the most recent year in which violent crime fell a little bit," said Borowski, so he's giving a misleading picture by using the years that he chose."

PolitiFact Wisconsin says when you look at FBI crime data from 2008 to 2018 - the statewide violent crime rate rose 4.3 to 4.7 per 1000 residents.

Milwaukee makes up two-thirds of the violent crimes in the state but 2018 was its lowest mark in five years.

So you've got a real minor change in the violent crime rate," said Borowski. And when you look at all of the cities in the state, more than half it has not gone up at all."

Representative Sanfelippo tells PolitiFact Wisconsin he misspoke about the numbers. His claim was rated: PANTS ON FIRE.

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