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Violent crime shows downward trend in Richmond County

Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 7:03 PM
Last updated Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 1:40 AM
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Your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime are less than they were a year ago, and are far better than your chances were in 2008.

People are interviewed by officers with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at the scene of a home invasion off Wrights Avenue on Sept. 20.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
People are interviewed by officers with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at the scene of a home invasion off Wrights Avenue on Sept. 20.


Nationwide trends show that violent crime has declined over the past five years, and Richmond County crime statistics tell a similar story.

There has been a 12.9 percent decrease in violent crimes reported from 2008 to 2012 nationwide, according to the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Local law enforcement agencies attribute the drop to a more community-driven approach.

“Take those four to five years and compare it to this year and without a doubt the main tool in crime prevention is community policing,” Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Shane McDaniel said. “From what I see myself, the community is getting more involved with the sheriff’s office and the sheriff’s office is getting more involved in the community.”

Community policing, McDaniel said, is when the sheriff’s office and citizens work hand-in-hand to fight crime. Deputies are expected to know the people and businesses on their patrol route and citizens are asked to communicate with the sheriff’s office to help identify problem areas.

The introduction of the department’s traffic division this year has allowed more deputies to patrol the roads, increasing the visibility of the sheriff’s office, McDaniel said.

Greater visibility will make would-be criminals think twice, he added.

“With more deputies on patrol, you’re also looking at a quicker response time,” he said.

However, the traffic division didn’t exist during the surveyed years, and the effects won’t be measurable until the conclusion of 2013.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office took a more hands-on approach to fighting crime between 2008 and 2012, Capt. Steve Morris said.

“We identify what the problem is and develop a strategy to combat that problem,” he said. “We are in no way, shape or form satisfied with the numbers. One is too many.”

The sheriff’s office holds command staff meetings every week to analyze crime statistics and identify problem areas, Morris said. This allows police to get a jump on crime before it starts. High crime areas are met with a greater police presence.

Violent crime, however, is a different beast, Morris said.

“They’re not random acts,” he said. “Most of the time, the people knew each other. We can put an officer on every beat and every street, but we can’t put an officer in every home.”

The FBI estimates that a violent crime happened every 26 seconds in 2012, and the bureau’s Web site also said that aggravated assaults accounted for 62.6 percent of all violent crimes reported to law enforcement agencies.

In 2008, there were 16,465 cases of murder and non-negligent manslaughter nationwide compared to 14,827 in 2012. In the same five-year span, forcible rape and aggravated assault dropped by 12.8 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively.

Robbery saw the biggest five-year drop of all the violent crime categories with 20.1 percent fewer cases reported in 2012 than in 2008.

In Richmond County, robbery and aggravated assault dropped significantly while rape showed little change. Murder statistics, however, follow no real trend.

Robbery cases, which reached a 5-year high in 2009, with 792 reported incidents, dropped to 527 in 2012.

In 2012, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office reported 32 homicides, which is up from 19 cases in 2008. Homicide reached a five-year high in 2010, with 35 cases total.

Reported rape cases have seen a slight decline since 2010 after a high of 103 in both 2008 and 2009.

While violent crime has remained somewhat level in Columbia County, Morris said the sheriff’s office has seen a decrease in overall crime since 1996, when there were 6,866 reported crimes. There were 4,999 crimes reported in 2012.

Violent Crime Statistics

Crime numbers from the Richmond and Columbia counties’ sheriff’s offices and the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Reports:


National Statistics

Crime20082009201020112012
Murder16,46515,39914,72214,66114,827
Rape90,75089,24185,59384,17584,376
Robbery443,563408,742369,089354,746354,520
Aggravated
Assault
843,683812,514781,844752,423760,739

Richmond County (from RCSO)

Crime20082009201020112012
Murder1925352732
Rape1031031029687
Robbery777792642504527
Aggravated
Assault
312388268223204

Columbia County (from CCSO)

Crime20082009201020112012
Murder04142
Rape1914101910
Robbery2541152020
Aggravated
Assault
3747385031
Comments (15) Add comment
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specsta
6709
Points
specsta 10/06/13 - 08:45 pm
6
3
Are We Safer?

"The introduction of the department’s traffic division this year has allowed more deputies to patrol the roads, increasing the visibility of the sheriff’s office, McDaniel said."

Doesn't make me feel safer. It makes Augusta look like a police state in the making. There are some events held downtown that have more cops circling the block than citizens attending the event.

There are streets a citizen can drive down and there are multiple police units with drivers pulled over - and now even GRU and Paine College security have been emboldened to stop drivers on 15th Street. Sunday morning on 15th can look like a convoy of flashing blue lights.

No, that doesn't make me feel safer.

And it's kind of hard to do "community policing" when cops barrel down your street, peering at folks from behind dark-tinted windows and sunglasses. That being said, yes, there are many friendly cops who are delightful to talk to and who completely understand that they are public servants. But their work to engage the public is undermined by those individual police who are disrespectful to citizens, on a power-trip and are forever suspicious of folks who are just minding their own business.

High visibility might deter some would-be-thief, but if that high visibility makes common, law-abiding citizens feel like they are living in Gestapo-land, that is not a success.

Here's another element - there is scientific evidence that violent crime rates are declining due to the reductions in lead poisoning in this country, not from better policing. Farfetched? Do so some research. The removal of lead from gasoline and paint has had far-reaching implications on violent crime.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

KSL
139387
Points
KSL 10/06/13 - 11:24 pm
6
2
Could it be that criminals

Could it be that criminals are aware more and more law abiding citizens are purchasing guns and getting carry permits?

KSL
139387
Points
KSL 10/06/13 - 11:56 pm
3
1
Maryland's knee jerk reaction

http://touch.baltimoresun.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77640251/

Please pay special attention to the comments by Kevin Kelly, a Democrat in their legislature.

KSL
139387
Points
KSL 10/07/13 - 12:02 am
4
1
Whoa!

Could this have anything to do with decline in violent crimes?

http://cnsnews.com/blog/gregory-gwyn-williams-jr/654-million-gun-purchas...

KSL
139387
Points
KSL 10/07/13 - 12:06 am
5
2
Maybe we owe a great big

Maybe we owe a great big thank you to Obama. Errrr, unintended consequences.

nocnoc
46887
Points
nocnoc 10/07/13 - 05:26 am
4
0
KSL ---- zero'd in on a key point

WITHOUT ADDITIONAL GUN CONTROLS OR BANS WE HAVE LOWER VIOLENT CRIME.

Note: the covered dates are 2008 - 2012 which are only Obama Office years. so taking the FBI/DOJ statistics as presented, as genuine and not manipulated data to prop up the Obama Administration image.

FACT
It is generally accepted President Obama and his administration groupies extreme efforts to Control/Ban Home & Self Defense Solutions has driven up 1st time ownership nationwide by double digit millions. As many gun dealers will tell you President Obama has been the best Gun salesman in the history of the USA.

NOTE WORTHY:
This increase in ownership and Concealed Weapon Permits directly correlates with a research study done by Univ of Chicago Professor John Lott. His study of over 19,000 US counties showed increased ownership and Non-discretionary Concealed Carry permits, LOWERS violent crime in those areas. http://www.johnlott.org/

However, his initial study indicates we will see a shift from Violent Crimes to secondary non-violent crimes over followup years. As Criminals will move to non-confrontational thefts, Auto thefts, auto burglaries, shoplifting, and etc... In short an increase in property thefts vs. 1 on 1 armed robberies.

A Good Debate Read:
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/335891/soledad-obrien-vs-john-lott-...

It makes some great FACTUAL POINTS vs the emotional.

KSL
139387
Points
KSL 10/07/13 - 07:21 am
4
1
What else do you expect from

What else do you expect from a dumb brunette?

nocnoc
46887
Points
nocnoc 10/07/13 - 07:33 am
2
0
Typo Correction

In my number above I stated 19,000
it should be 1,900.

KSL
139387
Points
KSL 10/07/13 - 07:50 am
2
1
The headline is odd in that

The headline is odd in that it is the 4th paragraph before Richmond Co. is mentioned.

KSL
139387
Points
KSL 10/07/13 - 08:24 am
2
6
specsta

Exactly how do you square up the increase in violent crimes in young black males and the reduction of lead?

Oh wait, they are still around lead, as in bullets.

bdouglas
5567
Points
bdouglas 10/07/13 - 10:33 am
5
3
11 comments on this, and 8 of

11 comments on this, and 8 of them are from the same person... Come on now.

crossyourarms
218
Points
crossyourarms 10/07/13 - 12:07 pm
2
1
What?

"From what I see myself, the community is getting more involved with the sheriff’s office and the sheriff’s office is getting more involved in the community."

Nice meaningless statement there Sergeant.

corgimom
36404
Points
corgimom 10/07/13 - 12:54 pm
2
0
Police don't stop murders and

Police don't stop murders and rapes. Ever. It has nothing to do with their policing skills, and is just happenstance. Because, with few exceptions, murders and rapes aren't planned. Same with robbery and aggravated assault.

jimmymac
45160
Points
jimmymac 10/08/13 - 09:37 am
1
0
CORGIMOM
Unpublished

Hi, I haven't seen you on lately. Good to have you back and I agree with your assessment.

jimmymac
45160
Points
jimmymac 10/08/13 - 09:37 am
0
0
CORGIMOM
Unpublished

Hi, I haven't seen you on lately. Good to have you back and I agree with your assessment.

AutumnLeaves
9466
Points
AutumnLeaves 10/08/13 - 04:28 pm
0
0
I really don't care about the

I really don't care about the trends anyway. I care about what has happened to my family, to our friends, to our neighbors, to me, to our property and our community. I know too many people that have been directly and indirectly affected by crime here. This was unheard of until about the late 80's and crime seems to have exploded since the late 90's. Was there less crime during the mid-sixties through the mid-eighties or is the media just reporting it better?

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