PPD report shows crime continues on downward trend

By From page A1 | March 04, 2013

In a report released on Feb. 26, the Placerville Police Department revealed that crime in the city has continued on a downward trend.

According to the report, prepared by Chief George Nielson — who recently announced plans to retire — the crime rate for 2012 was 24.88 per 1,000 population, down from the most-recent high of 56.42 in 2004, a 56 percent decrease from nine years ago. The report cites National Night Out, a crime prevention and community building event, as one of the “focal points” of the department’s success. The event was ranked as the second-best NNO in its population category nationwide.

PPD saw no homicides in 2012, with only four in the past decade — including one in 2011. Sexual assaults, robberies, assaults, vehicle burglaries, vehicle thefts and larceny were also down from the past year. There were 17 less stolen vehicles in 2012 from 2011, from 23 to 6. About 33.5 percent of stolen property was recovered, a bit more that $99,000 of the nearly $300,000 stolen. Although the value of property stolen totals more than the previous year by 5 percent, the amount recovered increased in value by 22 percent. Both hate crimes and assault with a firearm saw a 100 percent increase — from zero to one indecent each over the previous year. Larceny was the most common crime, with 109 cases, with an 11-year average of 182. Larceny made up about 46 percent of crimes committed in the city.

Traffic accidents, general burglary, arson, hate crimes and child abuse were up from the previous year. Traffic accidents saw a 7 percent increase to 134, including a single DUI-related fatal vehicle collision. Traffic accidents as a total, however, were about 70 less than the 11-year average. Arrests were up by 14 percent and citations increased 6 percent, with 515 arrests and 522 vehicle code citations.

Assault was the most common type of crime against a person, making up 82 percent of the category. Robbery, or burglary using force and fear, was in second place with 14 percent and rape — of which there were only two in 2012 — was 4 percent of the category.

Beginning in July 2012, PPD focused on issues involving transients and homeless, removing 35 illegal camps and dealing with 267 transient-related calls. The department worked with the Placerville City Council and Hangtown Haven for placement and help with homeless.

Municipal code violations increased by 293 percent, from 15 to 59, while Business and Professions Code violations decreased from 22 to 4, or 82 percent.

Calls for service decreased by a little more than 1,000 calls from the previous to 13,020, about 4,600 less than both 2007 and 2008. This was due to budget cuts — about a 20 percent cut — and a reduction in staff, according to the department. With less officers on the streets, the amount of crimes seen happening lowers, the report stated. The average response time for calls was 5:01, compared  to the 8-year average of 4:49.

Overall crime was less than the average since 2001, with 258 crimes committed in 2012 and an average of 395.

Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or [email protected] Follow @CMayerMtDemo. 

Cole Mayer

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