Chief Magnus: Year to date crime statistics show progress

blogimage.jpgThis past weekend, Richmond Chief of Police Chris Magnus sent an update on the city's year to date crime statistics. Here is a repost of his report:

Dear Council Members and others,

Several folks have recently requested an update on our year to date (YTD) crime stats, so I wanted to give you an update as of 9/1.

These stats are compared to the same period (YTD) last year.  As you can see, even after a very good year (at least crime-wise!) in 2013, we are still making progress.  The next several months will be key as we round out the year.  Many property crimes go up during the holiday season, so it’s important we continue our prevention work.  I think our continued efforts to encourage residents to report crime, keep an eye out for their neighbors’ properties, apply common-sense Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) measures to their own homes, and work cooperatively with the police are all paying off.  I think another key to our progress with property crimes has been the improved street lighting that City Council authorized being installed throughout the city.

Sometimes, it does feel like we are “fighting against the tide” a bit!  Although California’s corrections realignment (AB109) initiative seems to be the right approach in terms of a greater focus on local programs and services for lower-level offenders, one challenge has been that certain property crimes, in particular auto theft and auto break-ins, now result in extremely minimal consequences for the individuals who commit these crimes.  We continue to struggle with higher rates of stolen vehicles in Richmond that often involve the same offenders over and over again.  One recent suspect arrested for vehicle theft had been arrested and convicted 8 previous times for the same thing, yet was very quickly back on the streets.  We know this is frustrating to the public, so how we comprehensively address this problem remains a tough issue.

I am very pleased with the progress we are making in reducing violent crime.  Again, this is all about partnerships, as there is no one simple solution to reducing shootings and violence overall.  We believe there is a tiny percentage of individuals disproportionately involved in Richmond’s violent crime—and these are the people we are focusing our efforts on.  I believe some of the key components contributing to our ongoing progress in decreasing violent crime include:

·        Timely, relevant, and comprehensive crime analysis;

·        Geographic-based beat policing that allows officers to increase their knowledge of what’s going on in their assigned areas and develop the strategies and relationships to address these issues/people;

·        Professional training and performance expectations that relate to the department’s crime reduction goals;

·        Active participation in the community-based “Ceasefire: Alive and Free program”;

·        Outstanding work being done by the City’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, as well as other community groups, such as “Men and Women of Purpose” and the “Reentry Services Group”;

·        Appropriate technology resources, such as CCTV and ShotSpotter;

·        The City’s contract with the District Attorney’s Office for an on-site D.A. who works with us on violent crime and other complex cases;

·        Good partnerships with other police departments, including a number of state and federal agencies.

Crime: YTD Change (Through Aug. 2014 v 2013)

Armed Robbery: -25%

Assault with Deadly Weapon: -17%

Assault with Firearm: -36%

Attempted Homicide: -43%

Attempted Robbery: -42%

Homicide: -33%

Rape: -14%

Strong-Arm Robbery: -24%

Battery with Injury: +40% (net increase of 8)

Carjacking: +8% (net increase of 1)

Violent Crime Total: -21%

Residential Burglary: -31%

Commercial Burglary: -38%

Vehicle Theft: -17%

Property Crime Total: -19%

Shots Fired Calls: -45%

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information.


Chief Chris Magnus

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