Overall, crime was up last year in Richmond – by 1 percent – compared to the same statistics for 2010. This slight increase was driven by property crimes, which were up by 2 percent.
However, there was a significant reduction in violent crimes, with homicides and commercial robberies leading the decline, down 10 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Aggravated assaults also were down 3 percent. Rapes generated the only increase, up 16 percent from 43 in 2010 to 50 in 2011.
“Violent crime, and crime in general, is down in Richmond because the residents and police officers have joined forces to combat the criminal element,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “The police cannot and have not done it alone. It takes all of us, as stakeholders, working together.”
“I am particularly pleased with the drop in violent crimes, which was even better than last year’s historic low,” said Chief Bryan T. Norwood. “However, despite our success in this area, there’s still work to do – in particular in the area of property crimes.”
The only decline in the property crimes category was under larceny, which includes thefts from buildings and vehicles, as well as shoplifting, pick-pocketing and purse snatching, down 1 percent for 2011. Arson had the largest increase, up 35 percent from 43 in 2010 to 58 in 2011. Burglary and auto theft were both up 7 percent.
“With the help of our residents and community partners, we have a handle on violent crimes,” Chief Norwood said. “Now we’re going to use those same resources to drive down property crimes – from our Neighborhood Watch Associations to business owners to the average man or woman on the street. Our mantra: If you see something, say something.”