Crime in the West Springfield district has decreased by 12 percent so far in 2013, but the number of robberies increased in some parts of the district, according to Capt. Joe Hill, commander of the West Springfield District Station, which covers part of Burke.
Hill provided some recent crime statistics as part of his “State of the District” address during a Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting on Tuesday. The reason for the overall decrease in crime, Hill said, is due to the “dedication of the citizens calling in and the hard work of the police officers.”
West Springfield District 2013 Crime Statistics At-a-Glance
The three areas police saw drops in crime are burglaries, drug and narcotics offenses and motor vehicle thefts. Burglaries decreased by 21 percent in the district in 2013.
“This is a big deal for us because West Springfield is a bedroom community,” said Hill. “This is a very serious crime. We take it very seriously, and we make it our business to get the folks committing those crimes off the street.”
Drug and narcotic offenses decreased by 23 percent this year and motor vehicle thefts decreased by 35 percent. The drop in motor vehicle thefts fits with a nationwide trend of decreasing car thefts due to vigilant car owners and improved technology that makes it difficult for thieves to break in, said Hill.
Additionally, the station saw the following crimes decline in 2013:
- Sex offenses (forcible) decreased by 26 percent.
- Assaults decreased by 14 percent.
- Larcenies decreased by 9 percent.
- Homicide offenses remained at 0 percent (only one in 2013).
- Destruction of Property offenses decreased by 14 percent.
Hill attributed the decrease in larcenies to residents being more careful about the valuable items they leave out in the open.
“Do everything you can to keep your stuff locked up, and keep your valuables out of your car. There’s no need to lock your stuff up if you don’t have anything that can be stolen,” said Hill.
The only crime that increased in the district this year was robberies, which rose by 31 percent. The majority of the reported robberies occurred in Annandale, Hill said, adding that the police have resolved many of the incidents through “investigation and increased patrols.”
While the news regarding crime in the district was largely positive, Hill said the biggest issue affecting the district right now is speeding. To address this issue, Hill said police will work closely with residents to deter motorists from speeding in the community.