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Crime up 6 percent, but not in violent categories

Posted by haroldkitching on February 21, 2013 at 12:25 AM

Overall, crime rose 6 percent in Casa Grande during the 2012 calendar year – but you have to look closely at the statistics to get the whole picture.

Violent crimes such as homicide, robbery and aggravated assaults were down, but property crimes such as burglary, theft and auto theft had increases, skewing the overall totals.

“We had a decrease in violent crimes and an increase in property crimes,” Police Chief Bob Huddleston told the City Council during Tuesday night’s study session. “And that is pretty consistent across the United States. A lot of people attribute the increase in property crimes to the economy. When times are tough those crimes tend to increase.”

The 2012 statistics show one homicide, versus three during 2011, a drop of 67 percent.

Sexual assaults (the one violent crime increase) went to four for 2012, one more than the year before.

Robberies during 2012 dropped 8 percent, from 53 in 2011 to 49 last year.

Aggravated assaults totaled 159, down 8 percent from 172 during 2011.

The property crimes totals that skewed the overall figures are:

Burglaries increasing from 625 in 2011 to 775, or 24 percent.

Thefts rose from 1,892 during 2011 to 1,931, or 2 percent.

Arsons increased from 19 in 2011 to 31, or a climb of 63 percent.

Vehicle thefts rose from 147 during 2011 to 152, or 3 percent.

Total crimes rose from 2,914 during 2011 to 3,102, or 6 percent.

The report also shows crime trends from 1995 through 2012 in an overall decline from 167 crimes per 1,000 population in 1995 to 62 per thousand during 2012.

“This particular slide we like to include because it does show that in Casa Grande a strong push for community policing and crime prevention took place,” Huddleston said. “We were at an all time high of crime per capita in Casa Grande in 1995. And you can see that even though we’re showing a bit of an increase this year, it doesn’t take away from the overall 13, 14 year downward pattern that we had. So we’re pretty proud of that over the last 15 or better years.”

Another chart shows the five-year trends for violent crimes and property crimes.

The violent crimes of homicide, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault show 236 in 2008, 279 in 2009, 249 in 2010, 231 in 2011 and 213 during 2012.

The five-year trends for the property crimes of burglary, theft, arson and vehicle theft show 2,724 in 2008, 2,806 in 2009, 2,816 in 2010, 2,683 in 2011 and 2,889 during 2012.

Other statistics in the report include:

✦ PATROL

Officers in the field had 32,136 calls during 2012, down from 35,666 in 2011, 39,499 in 2010 and 39,788 in 2009.

“We track our calls for service, and there has been a continued decline in that,” Huddleston said.

“We do see that as a positive thing, because we try to triage (sort by importance) those calls and not end up with every call for information or some kind of assistance ending up in the hands of a patrol officer.

“And what that translates into is a little more time for the officers to spend proactively out there.

“There’s still a lot of calls to handle, but they do continue to go down year after year as we triage those calls.”

The Patrol statistics also show 10,086 case reports during 2012, as opposed to 9,572 in 2011, 10,120 in 2010 and 10,923 in 2009.

Officers made 3,544 arrests during 2012, down from 3,723 in 2011, 3,788 in 2010 and 4,164 in 2009.

They issued 7,294 citations during 2012, an increase from 5,789 in 2011 and 5,033 in 2010, but a drop from the 8,230 issued during 2009.

✦ PRIORITY CALLS RESPONSE

The Patrol response time to top priority calls during 2012 was 5.4 minutes, a slight increase from the 5.2 minutes in 2011 and 5.1 in 2010.

✦ TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT

The report shows only the year 2012, with 2,932 traffic stops, 410 case reports, 243 arrests and 2,116 citations issued.

✦ TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

Huddleston told the council that when looking at traffic accident totals, the focus should be on the rate of accidents per thousand population.

During 2012, 2011 and 2010 that rate was 19 per thousand residents, dropping from 21 during 2009.

“You’ll see that our traffic accidents per thousand have been consistent at 19, which actually quite low,” Huddleston said. “If this chart went back several years you could see that we were up in the high 20s or even 30s.”

The statistics show four fatal accidents during 2012, nine in 2011 and seven each in 2010 and 2009.

There were 644 non injury accidents during 2012, as opposed to 622 in 2011, 633 in 2010 and 621 in 2009.

Injury accidents totaled 193 in 2012, versus 212 in 2011, 213 in 2010 and 214 in 2009.

Private party accidents were 113 during 2012, 99 in 2011, 102 in 2010 and 108 in 2009. The totals of all accidents were 954 in 2012, 942 in 2011, 955 in 2010 and 950 in 2009.

✦ MISCELLANEOUS There were 673 graffiti cases reported during 2012, a drop from 992 in 2011. T

he U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force, of which the Casa Grande Police Department is a part, made 432 arrests during 2012, mostly of violent offenders.

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