By any measure, the Fox Cities region is a safe place to live.
Statistics for 2014 show that the rate of violent crime here was half the national average and below the state average, according to the 2016 Fox Cities Leading Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) Study.
The LIFE Study has been conducted every five years since 2001. It is sponsored by United Way Fox Cities, the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. The study looks at Outagamie, Winnebago and Calumet counties. The four priorities for community change selected by a cross-section of more than 200 area residents in a daylong examination of the LIFE Study were: poverty, youth health, student performance, and youth safety. We will highlight different sections of the report weekly here in The Loop. Read more at foxcitieslifestudy.org.
Two murders were reported in 2014 in the Fox Cities out of 165 in Wisconsin. The area is below state and national averages in violent crime, property crime and domestic abuse. Even traffic fatalities are less frequent here.
Juvenile crime is declining and by far the largest source of drug arrests is marijuana.
The major concerns shown in the LIFE Study were for child neglect and abuse and high school bullies, both associated with the youth safety community priority.
While child abuse and neglect rates decreased between 2009 and 2013, they exceeded the state average in Outagamie and Winnebago counties. Calumet County is well below the state average.
Fox Cities high schoolers reported levels of bullying at school and cyber-bullying greater than state and national averages. 2015 data shows 27% of high schoolers face bullying at school and 18% have experienced electronic bullying. Data on cyberbullying is relatively new and laws, enforcement and reporting may not be keeping pace with the changing technology and explosion of social media tools.
Most surprising statistic: There were 322 fewer drug arrests in 2014 than in 2012. Removing marijuana possession from the past three years would reduce Fox Cities’ adult drug arrests by around 60%.