(CBS DETROIT) – Violent crime is up in the city of Detroit. Police Chief James Craig made the announcement Wednesday during a briefing on 2020 crime statistics.

“We knew that there was an uptick in violence. We knew we were struggling with the pandemic, and then we shouldn’t forget about the days and weeks of protests where we had to re-deploy staff. But despite all of those challenges our officers continued to go out and focus on mitigating violence,” said Craig.

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Non-fatal shooting saw a 53 percent increase from the previous year totaling 1,173 shootings; while homicides jumped 19 percent with 327 cases.

Chief craig says the coronavirus pandemic played a role in violent crime hikes due to arguments, drugs and alcohol use.

“So again when I speak about what’s occurring here in Detroit, I will also include what we’re seeing, what are the common factors that we see in other cities. Again, the pandemic is everywhere. The fact that we’ve seen drug and alcohol use and so with that increase certainly the ability to resolve disputes become extremely challenged,” he said.

Gun-arrests surged 102 percent from 2019 with over 5,900 violations.

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Although shootings increased the city saw double-digit reductions in sexual assault, carjackings and robberies.

Chief craig says he’s glad to close the chapter on 2020 in hopes that 2021 proves to be less violent.

“If we’re gonna collectively reduce violence we gotta first continue to move forward very assertively in dealing with this pandemic and I think once that happens and it’s starting to happen now, we’re gonna see great change,” said Craig.

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