The City of Chesterfield saw a small decrease in crime in 2012 with theft continuing to be the most common kind of criminal activity in the city, according to a report compiled by the Chesterfield Police Department.
Police filed a total of 4,423 reports in 2012 compared to 4,626 last year. In each case, about half of those reports were related to vehicle accidents or alarms with the other half comprised of criminal activity such as drug violations, theft and assault. In the latter instance, the total reported cases were 1,431 for 2012 and again slightly less in 2011 at 1,431.
Chesterfield Police Capt. Steven Lewis welcomed decrease, emphasizing that the department is focused on reducing crime level as far as possible. However, he explained that the decline wasn’t statistically significant in any category.
“Our crimes usually fluctuate within a set parameter,” he said. “We do some analysis [of the numbers], but unless there is something that stands out, it’s basically just societal.”
That doesn’t mean the data isn’t useful, Lewis said. Police commanders periodically review such reports to help shape how the department deploys its resources.
“We look at the different crimes that are occurring, where they are occurring and where we specifically need to put our people,” Lewis said.
The most common crime is in Chesterfield is theft, according to the report. Police reported 462 cases of larceny in 2012 compared to 506 in 2011, a decrease of 8.6 percent. Other crimes that dropped for the year were assaults (from 172 to 157), burglaries (56 to 47) and drug violations (84 to 76).
However, despite the overall downward trend, some categories saw increases in 2012, most notably sexual offenses, which rose from 5 in 2011 to 14 in 2012.
Lewis also said Chesterfield has one of the lowest crime rates in the region, as measured by the FBI through their uniform crime reports. According to data on the agency’s website, Chesterfield had approximately 0.7 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 15.6 property crimes per 1,000 people in 2011, the year for which information is most recently available.