FORT WORTH (CBS11) – New crime statistics released by the City of Fort Worth show a spike in violent crime at the beginning of this year.

The report presented to city council Tuesday compares the first three months of 2017 to the first three months of 2016.

Murders, rapes, robberies and assaults all went up.

Homicides, in particular, rose 69 percent, a significant increase that’s alarmed police leadership.

Assistant Chief Kenneth Dean said there’s no simple explanation. Some of the murders began as robberies, some as domestic violence, he told CBS11.

Crimes categorized as “forcible rape” rose 29 percent, an increase Chief Dean attributed, in part, to more people reporting rape.

Robberies were also up 29 percent.

Aggravated assaults increased 15 percent.

The majority of those assaults were committed by someone the victims knew.

Chief Dean said the department is now prioritizing family violence cases to get some of these violent offenders behind bars.

The crime report did show an improvement in property crimes, such as home break-ins, which dropped more than 14 percent.

The department does not have any official crime statistics to release for the months since March.