West End crime down
SALISBURY — Crime in the West End neighborhood decreased during the first three months of 2014, Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins said.
Collins told City Council that when compared with the last three months of 2013, burglary in the West End was down 15 percent, larceny fell 70 percent and motor vehicle theft went from nine cars stolen to four.
Collins said reports of crime in the West End were down nearly 25 percent during the first three months of 2014. Police took 154 reports in the West End from October to December 2013, and that number fell to 116 reports from January to March 2014.
He gave the update Tuesday after telling City Council in January that when compared with five years ago, the city’s crime rate was down by 8.6 percent but the West End’s crime rate was up by 12.6 percent.
Since then, Collins said he has been working closely with Code Services to identify and secure all 58 vacant homes in the West End. Police are contacting property owners and asking them to complete trespass agreements, which give police the right to go onto the property when they find people in the houses, Collins said.
So far, 37 percent of vacant homes now have trespass agreements. Collins said he also has a new system to check all vacant properties for trespassers at night several times a week.
The Police Department’s community relations officer is offering home visits to give recommendations for how residents can make their home more resistant to break-ins.
Collins said he plans to implement the second Police Interdiction Team street crimes unit by the middle of this month, as well as the redesign of patrol beats to a four-quadrant system. The new system will put three officers, up from one, per shift in the West End community, he said, “to bring things under control even more.”
The beat redesign will coincide with moving the city telecommunicators to the new Rowan County 911 facility, Collins said. The department’s second community relations officer will begin working as a liaison between police and residents this month, as well.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.
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