Crime statistics released early Wednesday by the Chicago Police Department show a troubling trend for some crimes.
Compared to the first quarter of 2014, when the city set a record low for homicides, Chicago recorded 18 more homicides, 107 more shootings and 101 more shooting victims, the department said.
At the same time, the number of illegal guns recovered by officers has increased. The department said officers recovered more than 1,500 illegal guns in the first quarter of the year -- a 22 percent increase from the same period last year. Additionally, arrests for illegal gun possession are up 39 percent compared to 2014.
Overall crime across the city continues to decline following back-to-back years of historic lows, the department said, with a 5 percent reduction in crime from 2014 and a 27 percent reduction in crime from 2013.
"Through our plan, based on community policing and partnerships with residents, we have made significant progress in reducing crime over the past few years, yet we remain challenged by lax laws that make it far too easy for dangerous criminals to access and use illegal guns," Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement. "We will continue building on our community policing philosophy, putting more officers in high crime areas, intervening in gang conflicts, and fostering stronger relationships with the communities we serve. Yet even with the strongest partnerships and best policing in the world without better state and federal laws to help keep illegal guns off the streets we will continue to face an uphill battle."