VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Virginia Beach Police say the city saw the lowest Part I crime rate since 1965 in 2012.
Jimmy Barnes with the Virginia Beach Police Department said the rate in 2012 for Part I crimes was 28.1 crimes per 1,000 residents. Part I crimes include violent crimes, such as homicide and rape as well as property crimes of burglary and larceny.
In 2012, Virginia Beach Police investigated the following violent crimes:
Homicide – 21
Forcible rape – 68
Robbery – 320
Aggravated assault – 349
In 2011, Virginia Beach Police investigated the following violent crimes:
Homicide – 15
Forcible rape – 58
Robbery – 412
Aggravated assault – 292
While the total number of violent crimes in 2012 is slightly lower than that of 2011, when broken down, the numbers seemed to increase. The homicide rate in 2012 increased 40 percent while the number of aggravated assaults increased 19.5 percent and the number of rapes increased 17.2 percent. Only robberies decreased, with a rate of 22.3 percent.
In total, violent crime dropped 2.4 percent.
Property crimes were where the city really saw rates fall.
In 2012, Virginia Beach Police investigated the following property crimes:
Burglary – 1,538
Larceny – 9,681
Motor vehicle theft – 461
Arson – 119
In 2011, Virginia Beach Police investigated the following property crimes:
Burglary – 2,001
Larceny – 9,614
Motor vehicle theft – 463
Arson – 133
The rate of property crimes decreased 3.4 percent as a whole.
Barnes said police cleared 65.2 percent of violent crime cases and 29.6 percent of property crime cases in 2012. Both rose slightly since 2011, where police cleared 62.9 percent of violent crimes and 28.2 percent of property crimes.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the average violent crime clearance rate for cities with a population of 250,000 or more was 40 percent, and 13.7 percent in property crimes.
"Our continuous above national average clearance rate is a direct result of highly trained and educated officers and staff of the Virginia Beach Police Department," Chief James Cervera said. "We also commend our highly successful Crime Solvers program and tireless citizen participation in keeping our city safe. We vow to remain focused on proactive crime prevention strategies and our goal-oriented focus on neighborhood issues revealed in 1,400 door-to- door surveys. We will continue to reduce crime in 2013 using community partners and technology to allocate manpower where it is needed the most to ensure that Virginia Beach remains one of the safest cities in the nation."
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