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Police: Violent, Property Crimes Trending Up

There were eight robberies reported in the first nine months of this year, compared to six during the same period in 2011. There have also been more reports of aggravated assaults, drug arrests and shoplifting incidents, according to police stats.

Crime has trended up in Peekskill during the first nine months of 2012.

But city officials say that it is far too early to determine if the spike in numbers is just a blip or an ominous sign of things to come.

Through nine months, crime this year has increased by 30 percent compared to the same point in 2011, according to a memo submitted by Lt. Eric Johansen of the Peekskill city police department. A PDF of that memo is attached to this story.

“From an overall perspective, statistics taken out of context can be misunderstood,” Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said. “Peekskill is safe and our police force is diligently attacking quality of life infractions. While this is not dangerous crime, the numbers of arrests on infractions prevents dangerous crime from happening. So while the number of arrests increases, it reduces neighborhood concerns and improves overall safety.”

Part I crimes, which are the more serious crimes listed in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report, increased by 12 percent. Part I crimes include murder and nonnegligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson.

Part II crimes increased in the city by 39 percent. Part II crimes include offenses such as simple assault, vandalism, fraud, embezzlement, prostitution and drug offenses.

Violent crimes like rape, robbery and aggravated assault have increased by 32 percent and property crimes, like burglary and larceny, have increased by 10 percent.

“The violent crime increase can be attributed to increases in robberies in 2012 (6 in 201 1 vs. 8 in 2012) and Aggravated Assaults (14 in 2011 vs. 19 in 2012),” the memo states. “Furthermore, the 10 percent property crime increase is due primarily to the increase in incidents of shoplifting at the Stop and Shop and Walgreens stores where through the third quarter of 2011 there was seven compared with 38 thus far in 2012.”

Johansen said the police department began implementing anti-crime patrols in July and those patrols have resulted in more quality of life arrests. Police have made 94 more marijuana and 23 more controlled substance arrests at this point of the year then they made at the same time last year.

“This approach to crime prevention has historically suppressed major criminal
activity under the theory that those arrested for minor offenses are unable to commit or become victims of other criminal offenses,” the memo states.

Peekskill police Chief Eugene Tumolo said the community is much safer than it was a decade ago, when gun violence was more prevalent.

“The streets are much calmer and much safer when you ride through Peekskill,” Tumolo said. “You don’t see the loitering on the corners and it is a much safer, much more inviting environment.”

Tumolo also said many of the crimes can be prevented with more education. For instance, he said there have been a lot of theft-related crimes that were the result of people not locking their doors or securing their personal belongings in an adequate manner.

He also said some of the new businesses in the area are more proactive and effective in stopping thefts. Those arrests have also added to the crime numbers.

Tumolo said his department will continue to study the figures and respond as needed.

A list of index crimes reported to Peekskill police from 2007 to 2011 is available in the secondary photo attached to this story.

RealTimeRufus October 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Culture is everything. If your culture encourages greed, entitlement, laziness, irresponsibility, dishonesty, corruption and lack of order, don't be surprised with the results. You reap what you sow. Cultures that promote the opposite of those values succeed. This isn't new. It's as old as the Scripture and has been proven time and time again. Rome succeeded when its people and leaders had core values and could think beyond themselves; it collapsed when it forgot those values. Same story here. R.I.P. America, you did it to yourself. "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder" - Toynbee "Just as every copy is a criminal and all the sinners saints" - Jagger "My God, what have I done" - Byrne/Guinness "Sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy" - MP to Macdonald "We blew it" - Fonda
ED HICKEY October 10, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Rufus? Amen! As frightening as your commentary is, it is equally as accurate to our nation's decline. I'm not ready to throw in the towel and only because I believe there remains a population that understands as you do, and agree as we do. One of the final stages of collapse is anarchy and lawlessness ... some areas of this nation will endure though in my opinion. Weschester County could be the model for your commentary; Peekskill has a community of some deep roots ... of people that hold concepts of sacrifice and "do onto others". I just hope and pray that the necassary slashing ahead, chooses our exceptional police department last; there are many genuine men and women that dedicate all of who they are to serve and protect with the intent of maintaining law and order as many have known it here.
Collegenurse October 11, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I have been living in Peekskill for the past 12 years, actually came because the availability of homes under 200k...with the prospects of a "rivertown" becoming something...sadly this has not happened and in fact it has just gone down hill. We have worked on a lovely home built at the turn of the century with charm and beauty. Unfortunately, we will move on in the next few years due to the increase crime. I have called the police on numerous occasions for suspected drug activity in my neighborhood, I am tried of picking up garbage left on the sidewalks and the amount of run down, abandoned homes, section 8 homes that are occupied by familys that do not care are too numerous. To get through the next few years we are getting a german shephard and/or alarms on our home...so sad..lived all my life in Westchester and never even locked my front door.
leesther brown October 11, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Now that's Real....
Awilda Laboy October 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Culture is not everything. We're blessed to have many diverse cultures and I've been blessed to associate with so many cultures in my own lifetime. All the cultures I associate with teach their children values such as self respect, helping those in need even though they don't have much themselves, honesty, and integrity.

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