While the rate of violent crime rose in Akron last year, police say it remains one of Ohio's safest big cities.
Data compiled by the FBI showed the rate of violent crime in Akron rose by 4.7 percent last year compared to 2005.
Akron's total of violent crimes in 2006 was 1,324, which translates to a rate of 63 violent crimes per 10,000 people.
In 2005, Akron recorded 1,265 violent crimes, for a rate of 60 per 10,000 people.
The nationwide crime statistics released by the FBI on Monday didn't include crime data from Akron. The Akron Police Department didn't meet the deadline for submitting its 2006 statistics to the FBI.
Akron police officials attributed the missed deadline to staff shortages and the development and implementation of a new computer system used for gathering crime reports. The department also missed FBI reporting deadlines in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001.
Fueling the growth in Akron's violent crime rate were increases in the number of rapes and robberies. There were 203 reported rapes in 2006, compared to 183 in 2005.
Robberies in 2006 outdistanced those reported the year before by 87 712 to 625.
Even with the uptick in the violent crime rate, Akron still ranked behind Cleveland (155 per 10,000), Cincinnati (122 per 10,000), Youngstown (120 per 10,000), Toledo (115 per 10,000), Dayton (108 per 10,000), Canton (102 per 10,000) and Columbus (81 per 10,000).
Canton's violent crime rate change was the highest in the state up 21.7 percent.
In Columbus, the rate was down by 2.7 percent and in Cleveland, up by 9.2 percent.
According to the FBI data, violent crime nationwide is up, rising 1.9 percent last year. Ohio mirrored the national trend, with violent crime increasing by 2.3 percent in 2006.
Police Chief Michael Matulavich said that the numbers bear out the fact that ''Akron is a very safe city.'' Matulavich said a great deal of the violent crime reflected in the data involves people who know each other.
''Akron is a good place to live and a good place to do business,'' Matulavich said.
The one type of violent crime that took a downturn in Akron last year was aggravated assault 367 in 2006, compared to 430 in 2005.
Carl Chancellor can be reached at 330-996-3725 or email@example.com.