Dubuque, IOWA (KCRG-TV9) -- A new report shows Dubuque saw the 6th biggest spike in violent crime in the nation.
The report from USA Today shows in a five-year span, between 2011 and 2016, violent crime in the Dubuque metro area went up by more than 56-percent.
TV9 pulled the numbers. The statistics show the city of Dubuque did see a spike in violent crime over that time.
But the violent crime rate in Dubuque is still among the lowest in Iowa.
Police Chief Mark Dalsing said the increase is not based on any particular trend because crime has natural ebbs and flows.
“So we don't know what's going to be pushing it one direction,” Chief Dalsing said “But there also is a piece with increased enforcement. Every time we do a special project targeting a problem or neighborhood, we're going to have more of us, so it's going to be a more reported crime. So a lot of times you will create your own data by just going out and doing your job."
Chief Dalsing gave TV9 a tip to show why that data might be misleading: Chief Dalsing, who has been the police chief for the past eight years, noted violent crime is actually down over a 6 year period.
TV9 looked at the F-B-I data from 2011 to 2016. In that timeframe, the city of Dubuque saw a 52 percent spike in violent crime.
Chief Dalsing said that spike exists because crime hit a low point in Dubuque in 2011, which skewed the data.
“So if you're starting low it's going to be easier to get the increase,” Chief Dalsing said. “Uniform Crime Report, all this stuff where studies come out, they say 'don't use this for comparison against other cities.' That's what everybody does.”
Chief Dalsing told us to look back one more year - and we did.In 2010 - the year before USA Today started its analysis, had nearly double the violent crime as in 2011. So compared to 6 years ago, Dubuque has actually had its violent crime rate drop 38 percent.