There were fewer violent crimes in Concord this year over last, and Police Chief Guy Swanger says he is "very encouraged."
Swanger presented the department's biannual crime report at Tuesday evening's city council meeting, highlighting a decline in the most brutal crimes.
The numbers from January through June 2012 show a drop over last year for almost all violent crimes except rape and larceny. Swanger told the council that the higher figure for larceny, which includes crimes such as shoplifting and , is likely due in part to citizens now being able to report these crimes online — meaning more reports. Additionally, the "copper wire epidemic" occurring across California is bulking the stats, said Swanger.
Crime2012 2011 Homicide 1 3 Rape 13 11 Robbery 70 71 Aggravated Assault 106 118 Burglary 414 441 Auto Theft 271 306 Larceny 1,244 1,182
The police chief offered a breakdown of the numbers, including some analysis of crime trends.
Robberies, he said, tend to occur in the early morning or late evening, and most happen with the use of force.
Between January and June, 2012:
- 74 percent of robberies happened on the street or in a residential area
- 26 percent were commercial robberies
- 19 percent involved firearms
Burglaries most often occur during daytime hours, according to Swanger, with burglars usually gaining access through a rear slider or by forcing a rear window open. Gold jewelry and small electronics are a trending target. "The price of gold is really driving some of this crime," said Swanger.
Of the 271 automobiles stolen between January and June this year, 40 percent were taken from high-density housing areas. , which echoes state and national trends.
The most frequently reported type of rape is "acquaintance rape," according to Swanger, which means that the perpetrator is usually someone the victim already knows.
When Swanger was finished with his presentation, the council commended the Concord Police Department for the report. Mayor Ron Leone said it helps the community feel comfortable and brings to light anything the city needs to work on.
"I want to be as transparent as possible about what we do in the police department," replied Swanger.
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