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Our Crime Report Card 2009 to 2015

What types of incidents occur most frequently within our town watch boundaries?

Are our efforts at neighborhood patrolling paying off?

To get a perspective on crime in our area and answer these questions, I reviewed our logs of incidents within the CWTW Area (this website lists most of them).  Our records lack data for most of 2010, and 2015 still has two months to go.  But I counted up 2009 and 2011-15, and the five most common types of incidents here are shown on the graph, so you can compare the categories and years.  The results are quite interesting.  

Assaults (pink) – None since 2013, and when they did occur, about half were domestic events. 

Robberies (orange) – 14 reported, but none since 2013.  (About one each year involved a gun.)

Burglaries (green) – This has been our second most common type of incident:

Our worst years for burglaries were 2011 and 2012, when a team of burglars was targeting our area.  We had 53 break-ins (and 5 failed attempts) in 2011 and another 48 break-ins in 2012.  The police finally arrested those perpetrators, with help from neighbors who spotted and described them; home owners came forward at the trial and the burglars were convicted.  In 2015, 6 attempts were foiled by neighbors, systems, or dogs, and 2 burglaries were reported.

Vehicle thefts (blue) were steady at 7 or 8 per year until 2012, then dropped to 2 and 4 in the past 2 years.  But the number has increased again to 6 so far in 2015, and the year is not over yet.

Subtotals for these 4 types are shown in yellow – the bar above the horizontal line. 

Our best full year so far was 2013, when almost all crimes were lower than in other years.  2014 was nearly as peaceful, with an uptick in burglaries.

2015 is trending even lower so far, in most kinds of incidents:  zero assaults and zero robberies, and burglaries may be far fewer than in any year recorded.  But six cars have been stolen from our area already this year.  Police are monitoring this situation.

Thefts (olive-green):  Look below the line on the graph to see our most stubborn problem.  Incidents of theft from vehicles and yards are more common than all other types combined in our area(except during the spate of burglaries in 2011-12).  This problem continues despite the efforts of police and town watch patrollers.  But we as ordinary residents have the power to control these numbers at home.  All it takes is more awareness.  Theft is a crime of opportunity. These thieves do not want to be caught, and many of them are still kids.  By locking our cars and putting valuables out of sight we can make it harder for sticky fingers to grab our stuff.  If we remove the temptation then those who can’t resist it will have to behave or look elsewhere.

Total crime incidents (the combined yellow/olive bars) are listed in red at bottom of the graph.

Note:  A few other events here have not been common enough to merit a place on the graph.  There was one drug arrest (on Sedgwick St. in 2011), and less major offenses like vandalism, indecent exposure, marijuana use, scams and suspicious behavior have occurred in small clusters.  No incidents of rape or prostitution have been reported in our area.