Sheriff's office reports crime numbers are down for 2011

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office released new figures Friday for crime statistics in 2011.

According to the statement from sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles, the number of crimes reported has decreased in several categories.

Reports of aggravated assaults are down 35 percent from 2010, the lowest since 2007, and armed robberies are down almost 17 percent from 2010, the lowest they have been since prior to 2005, the statement said. Murders were down 28 percent from 2010, Peebles said.

In addition, reports of theft by taking have decreased 13 percent from 2010 numbers, Peebles said. Reports of domestic violence, however, have risen nearly 14 percent since 2010, the statement said.

“While there are many uncontrollable variables that affect crime rates, we now believe that it is evident that our aggressive initiatives, such as Operations Augusta Ink and Fox Hunt, along with the development of our Burglary Task Force have played a significant role in driving crime down in Richmond County”, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said in a news release.

“We also believe that efforts to promote greater community involvement with law enforcement have played a major role in our success,”   he said.

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