I just stumbled upon the Tribune’s crime rate listings. It’s buried in the “Homes” section, but updated through 2009. There’s some interesting stuff in there.
Interesting, but not surprising, is that crime (or, at least, criminal filings) has dropped substantially from 2003 to 2009. For instance, St. Charles had a crime rate of 30.4 (per 1,000 residents) in 2003. That number has dropped to 24.2 for St. Charles in 2009. That’s fairly representative of the types of changes every town has seen.
Even more interesting is where some of the larger Kane County towns land in the rankings. Most notably, Aurora. People not from the area think one of two things when they think of Aurora: either that it’s filled with gangs or that it’s like living in Wayne’s World. Neither of those perceptions is really accurate.
I’m not sure anybody thinks it’s got a lower crime rate than Woodstock, though. According to those stats, though, it does. Maybe Woodstock is over-run with gangs? Hardly.
It’s easy to play games with the numbers. Woodstock might have a higher crime rate because of they way it reports crime or because it’s more willing to charge and prosecute minor offenses than other towns. It’s hard to tell. I’m not worried about going to either place, though.