Salisbury Police Chief: Crime down over 11 percent in the city
By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY – Crime is on the decline in the city, and it’s in part because of the community, says Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes.
Stokes presented quarterly crime comparisons to the City Council during its Tuesday meeting showing an 11.6 percent drop in overall reported crime.
“We appear to have around an 11 percent decline in reported crime,” Stokes said. “We’re not going to take credit for that. It’s been a community effort; the community needs to take credit for that.”
Stokes presented the information, he said, because Councilman Kenny Hardin asked to see some numbers on crime. He was already preparing to gather those numbers.
Stokes’ numbers track more violent crimes like homicides, rapes, robberies, assaults, sex offense and less violent crimes like vandalism and liquor law violations.
“These numbers overall are showing a very positive direction,” Stokes said.
In 2016 for the beginning of the year, there were two homicides; this year there has been only one, in February. Burglaries went down from 97 in the first quarter of 2016 to 63 this year, while motor vehicle thefts are down from 23 to 14.
The stats also show that, although overall crime has decreased, weapons offenses are much higher this year so far compared to last year around this time. There were 14 weapons offenses in 2016 from January to April; this year there have been 34 offenses.
“Some things have bumped up a bit. We’re seeing more theft, more theft crime reported in this quarter than it was in the 2016 first quarter. That primarily is shoplifting, so that’s an issue that we certainly need to help the merchants address and see if there’s something we can do to help them with that,” Stokes said.
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