Crime & Courts

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Crime drops in Georgia, U.S., but not in Richmond County

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A drop in crime from 2009 to 2010 across the nation and in Georgia isn’t shared by Richmond County, data show.

Nationwide, the violent and property crimes reported to the FBI declined by 6 percent and 2.7 percent respectively when compared to the 2009 figures. Georgia experienced its own decline in violent crime: 39,072 incidents reported in 2010 versus 42,073 in 2009, a 7 percent decrease.

In Richmond County however, violent crimes rose from 2009 to 2010: 1,039 incidents to 1,084. Homicides, a category law enforcement has long classified as “unpredictable,” also spiked from 26 to 36; aggravated assaults rose from 179 to 273.

Property crimes dipped in Richmond County in some areas, particularly larceny, which went from 8,712 to 8,530. That was offset by an increase in burglaries, which went up from 3,587 in 2009 to 4,222 in 2010.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office answered the increases by creating a burglary task force, a select group of deputies who patrol a specific area that’s been hit hard by burglars, early this year. That’s led to a year-to-date decrease in burglaries, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Thursday. The sheriff also credits that type of “aggressive” patrolling and high-visibility policing for leading to a decrease so far in many areas of crime this year.

The drop in crime in Georgia and the U.S. surprised some criminologists who see a link between a sour economy and crime. But Bill Reese, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at Augusta State University, cautions against looking for a definitive answer.

A partial answer is that, demographically, the number of Americans younger than 25 years old has been dropping for years. Reese added that with the recession now entering its third year, those who would have committed crimes based on their circumstances will probably have done so already.

He also cautions against putting too much stock in the Uniform Crime Report, which is notoriously varied in its accuracy because different agencies report crime differently.

“It’s not a measure of criminal activity, but police activity,” Reese said.

The sheriff holds that there is a link between high unemployment and crime based on the people who are coming through his jail. Many of them have never been arrested before and give their desperate situation as a reason for the crime, Strength said.

As for the economists?

“The experts have never spent an hour in a police car,” he said.

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countyman
20236
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countyman 09/22/11 - 11:30 pm
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How come when it comes to

How come when it comes to crime RC is the only one discuss? When it comes to SAT scores, etc the other counties are included..

Either way, didn't the Augusta Chronicle article in January of 2011 clearly say the overal crime rate(violent & property) decreased last year??

Strength said he was glad only two major crime categories increased in 2010. "We're definitely pleased to see those (numbers) down," he said.

Aggravated assaults were at a two-year low, at 268. Aggravated assaults are shootings, stabbings and violent beatings.

How did AA assaults change from 268 to 273?

countyman
20236
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countyman 09/22/11 - 11:19 pm
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'He also cautions against

'He also cautions against putting too much stock in the Uniform Crime Report, which is notoriously varied in its accuracy because different agencies report crime differently.'

Never mind, the article explained the reason for the diffrent numbers..

AutumnLeaves
8069
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AutumnLeaves 09/22/11 - 11:52 pm
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countyman, you're obviously

countyman, you're obviously just not going to get it until you or your property become part of the statistics of crime. Crime is affecting me, my family, my friends, and my community. Used to be none of us were personally affected by crimes at all. For decades! Now nearly no one I know isn't affected by crime in Augusta, some of them have been victims multiple times. I'd sure like it to go back to the levels we had in the 60's and 70's. The worst that I remember happening in that 10 year period to us was one bike stolen off the front porch despite being locked to the column. I still live in the same community I did then. What changed?

countyman
20236
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countyman 09/23/11 - 12:26 am
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What does that have to do

What does that have to do with my earlier comment? I don't remember mentioning whether crime affected you or not..

I'm sorry your neighborhood changed for the worse, but it happens in every city.. I think you need to realize several other older neighborhoods haven't changed(Rockbrook, Conifer Place, Fox Hall, Belair Estates, Montclair, Watervale, etc)...

AutumnLeaves
8069
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AutumnLeaves 09/23/11 - 12:29 am
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My community consists of

My community consists of AUGUSTA/RICHMOND COUNTY, countyman. I have family and friends all over Augusta/Richmond County and work in Richmond County and family and friends all over the CSRA. We are all being affected by multiple crimes here in Augusta/Richmond County. I have family in 4 neighborhoods in Augusta, and more family in Hephzibah, Evans, GA and North Augusta and Aiken, SC, ETC. I'm worried about Augusta the most. And those statistics back me up.

AutumnLeaves
8069
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AutumnLeaves 09/23/11 - 12:31 am
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Let me hazard this guess: If

Let me hazard this guess: If I check the For Sale signs in Rockbrook, Conifer Place, Fox Hall, Belair Estates, Montclair and Watervale...they will have at least one real estate agent in common.

AutumnLeaves
8069
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AutumnLeaves 09/23/11 - 12:39 am
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RC is the one discussed

RC is the one discussed because this is the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta and Richmond County are consolidated into the entity known as Augusta/Richmond County. Crime needs to be addressed here more than the other counties you mention.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 09/23/11 - 03:51 am
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AutumnLeaves, You made

AutumnLeaves,

You made excellent points but they'll enter one of (C)ountyman's ears and go out the other. He's a shameless, boosterist plant. Any wonder why he doesn't use his real name? One must give even Alston Road credit for that.

countyman
20236
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countyman 09/23/11 - 05:46 am
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I still don't understand what

I still don't understand what the rants have to do with my initial comments..

How do the stats back you up? Unless you're comparing Augusta vs the surrounding counties per 100k it's a apples and oranges comparison. I think you need to be reminded, Aiken County had more aggravated assaults than Richmond did both in 2008 and 2009.. Also, there are 17 homicides in RC(200K) and Aiken(160K) probably has around 12-14.. Augusta's crime rate is lower than the majority of similar size cities.

Craig... You sound bitter, and my initial comment had nothing to do with boosterism.. It's funny how you have to mentione something about RC or me daily.. love how you recently mentioned Borders closing as a sign of the local economy.. The chain closed all of their stores around the US..

Riverman1
84919
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Riverman1 09/23/11 - 06:20 am
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The citizens making comments

The citizens making comments here and other places have prodded the RCSO to make improvements with law enforcement in the county. The crime rate in the county is still horrendous and may have increased, but at least we are getting away from the "they only kill each other" mentality.

It was reported the other day 35 mutilated bodies were thrown out of a truck on a street in a Mexican town one day. Can you imagine that? Some were women. The comments of the town's mayor are similar to what we've heard here from some. He said, "You're safe if you don't get involved with them." That is so reassurring as you step over the bodies in the street.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 09/23/11 - 06:42 am
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AutumnLeaves....nice posts.

AutumnLeaves....nice posts.

Brad Owens
4583
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Brad Owens 09/23/11 - 07:17 am
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SEE? I told you! Yet the

SEE? I told you! Yet the Sheriff gets cuts while the DDA gets more of our monies.

Trolley study anyone?

Riverman1
84919
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Riverman1 09/23/11 - 07:23 am
0
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Brad, we need a trolley

Brad, we need a trolley system built in conjunction with an Ellis St. canal. We could dip the rail into the water to give everyone one a little splash thrill.

owensjef2
0
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owensjef2 09/23/11 - 07:32 am
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Yea I use to watch Alston

Yea I use to watch Alston Road , What channel is he on Now. lol

seenitB4
88156
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seenitB4 09/23/11 - 07:33 am
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Keep telling the TRUTH

Keep telling the TRUTH ALeaves....you are right as usual....

A blind man will never see because he doesn't want to...not his job..
I wish ctyman had to ride in the police cars with them for a week...:)

JRC2024
9083
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JRC2024 09/23/11 - 09:11 am
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Autumn, which agent would

Autumn, which agent would that be? Initials only. And what does that have to do with crime in certain areas-nothing? It is the change in the occupants in certain areas. People move up and out and as prices change others move in.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/23/11 - 10:55 am
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The article was about Augusta

The article was about Augusta versus the entire state. Aiken county does have a bigger crime problem PER CAPITA than Augusta but that's not what this article was about.

The real question should be how long Augusta will tolerate Augusta Housing and section 8 concentrating the worst criminals in our town? When someone needs housing from Aiken County and several GA counties they just lie to Augusta housing or section 8 and move their criminals here.

If you look carefully at a lot of the kingpins that seldom get caught they are from all over the U.S and come here cause Augusta Housing and section 8 are too lazy to do PROPER background checks, and follow ups to see who is actually LIVING in tax-paid housing.

RC may be able to cut their crime rate in half if we could get Augusta housing & section 8 to stop bringing the whole worlds criminals here and giving them a nice place to set up their criminal operations on the taxpayers dime..

When are we going to realize that free or low cost housing ON A STATE LINE is attracting criminals from all over?

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 09/23/11 - 10:50 am
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CRRT- If I am not mistaken,

CRRT- If I am not mistaken, ARC has no leverage to restrict who gets housing if they are using any fed funds. If it was just locally funded they might get by with rules requiring state or county residence for some period of time before becoming eligible for welfare housing.

allhans
23766
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allhans 09/23/11 - 10:55 am
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Most of the signs I see in

Most of the signs I see in the areas mentioned is B & C. Don't know if that is the one suggested above.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/23/11 - 11:16 am
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Vito wrote; "If it was just

Vito wrote;
"If it was just locally funded they might get by with rules requiring state or county residence for some period of time before becoming eligible for welfare housing."

Is Augusta Housing and section 8 attracting criminals, public endangerment and misapropriation of tax money?

If we had a swimming pool that attracted a bunch of drownings we might be charged with having an attractive nuisance, or even negilgent homicide.

If a few Tax USERS were held to the same standard we bet our crime rate would tumble. We're spending MILLIONS and putting our finest in harms way when all we may have to do is look closer at who & what is attracting & creating all these criminals...

countyman
20236
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countyman 09/23/11 - 11:39 am
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SeenitB4.. Why do I need to

SeenitB4.. Why do I need to ride in a police car for a week?

I already know where the low, medium, and high crime areas are in the county...

For instance violent crime is basically nonexistent in West Augusta, Summerville, Southwest Augusta, CBD, and the city limits of Hephzibah/Blythe..

Parts of East Augusta, Laney Walker, Bethelehem, along with Hyde Park, Sunset, etc have higher crime rates..

I think you may need to ride in a police car for a week.. Then you'll notice all of the neighborhoods who hardly have any crime..

kiwiinamerica
946
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kiwiinamerica 09/23/11 - 11:29 am
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0
Here ya go, countyman. Here's
Unpublished

Here ya go, countyman. Here's a stat that will ruin your weekend. Burglaries up from 3,587 to 4222.

Now ........just one moment.....punching those numbers into my calculator...........that's an increase of.....ta-dah.....18%!!!

Woo-hooo!!

No need to mail in any money. A simple apology will suffice.

countyman
20236
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countyman 09/23/11 - 11:38 am
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Kiwi... Wow! One type of

Kiwi... Wow! One type of crime increased, I can find a type of crime that increased in the county you live in..

If you read the January article published in the chronicle.. The only crimes who increased last year were two(homicide and burglary)..

Versus Aggravated assaults, armed robberies, other robberies, rapes, drugs, etc decreasing...

The crime rate is much lower again this year compared to 2010 too..

seenitB4
88156
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seenitB4 09/23/11 - 11:46 am
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0
If I had my way

If I had my way countyman...
You would be handcuffed inside a patrol car
Your rosecolored glasses would be removed
You would have to look at the drugs-hookers-pimps-very poor & down & out..
The crooks-addicts--the victims of crime..
You would see what CRIME does to neighborhoods....& MAYBE just MAYBE...you would stop sugar coating the many problems in South Augusta & actually work to change things for the better.

gargoyle
17600
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gargoyle 09/23/11 - 12:52 pm
0
0
This is not totally on

This is not totally on subject, but does seem related. I wonder if the CVB and our Local Government will ballyhoo the fact we are 9th in the nation in Suburban poverty.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/23/news/economy/poverty_suburbs/index.htm?s...

Riverman1
84919
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Riverman1 09/23/11 - 01:09 pm
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Gargoyle, that is

Gargoyle, that is interesting. So we have the 9th poorest suburbs in the nation. It's kind of strange, also, because populous Columbia County has a much higher per captia income than the city of Augusta. I wonder exactly what numbers they looked at locally.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 09/23/11 - 02:39 pm
0
0
Riverman, I don't believe

Riverman, I don't believe Columbia or Aiken county was included, it just means that the suburban portions of Augusta-Richmond county are the 9th poorest in the nation. I do not doubt that one second. Surprised it didn't make the top 5

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/23/11 - 03:44 pm
0
0
I knew crime was on the

I knew crime was on the increase in Richmond County. Now we have unbiased proof. I think I'll continue to stay over in Columbia County as much as I can.

countyman
20236
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countyman 09/23/11 - 06:39 pm
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Unbiased?? The article

Unbiased?? The article already said they caculate crimes such as aggravated assaults diffrent..

I think it's funny you think crime went up in RC, but none of the surrounding counties.. If you use the same criteria, I bet you'll see something you didn't want to.

BevBoudreaux.. I think you meant to say Augusta/Richmond County wasn't included.. The percentage of poverty only included Columbia, Aiken, Mcduffie, Burke, and Edgefield counties..

Augusta/Richmond County is a city according to the census, and not a suburb.. Do you really think Summerville, Forest Hills, or West Augusta is poor lol?? Then what is Martinez, North Augusta, and especially Grovetown or Harlem considered..

Riverman1
84919
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Riverman1 09/23/11 - 06:43 pm
0
0
Columbia County has the

Columbia County has the highest per capita income by far in the CSRA, Aiken is second. Richmond County third.

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