|County crime stats for 2006 lowest of the decade|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Jan. 14, 2007 - The good news is that crime in Hopkins County continued to decline over the last year, if only by about 1 percent.
But that’s not all.
There were also fewer crimes overall in 2006 than any other year in this decade. 2005 came in a close second with only 336 crimes compared to the overall tally of 332 last year. The decade high was set at 412 in 2004, with 2002 trailing with 408 crimes.
It gets better.
Last year, 267 crimes committed in Hopkins County were cleared from the books, the most crimes solved in a single year so far in this decade. Only 198 crimes were taken off the books in 2005, as was the case in 2002. Aside from 2006, only two other years broke the 200 mark for number of crimes solved annually. In 2003, 207 crimes were cleared and 226 in 2004.
Of the nine major offense categories, four — robbery, simple assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft — came in last year under those posted in 2005. One showed no change.
For only the second time since 2000, there were no robberies in Hopkins County. In 2005, The high was set at three in 2002, with one in each of the other years.
Last year, there were 50 simple assaults, 20 fewer than in 2005. The record was set at 114 in 2003, with 2002 trailing a close second with 112, and 2001 third iwth 108.
Burglaries also dropped, down from 108 to 104, the same as in 2001. The high was 122 in 2002 and the low 101 in 2003.
Motor vehicle thefts dropped from 17 in 2005 to 14 last year. The high was 18 in 2004, with the low record in 2002; there with no vehicle thefts noted in 2002.
There was no change in criminal homicide numbers, with one each in 2005 and 2006, as well as in 2003 and 2000. 2002 had two criminal homicides, the record. There were none in 2001 or 2002. The number of criminal homicides cleared each year from 2000-2006 mirrored the number of homicides reported annually.
Of course it can’t all be good news — four offense categories saw increases.
There were eight more forcible rapes in 2006 than in 2005, setting a seven-year record of 12. Eleven rapes were cleared from the books last year, marking the only year since 2000 that officers cleared fewer rape cases than offenses reports were made on. The second highest rape rate was four in 2005. All other years this decade had two or fewer rapes.
Aggravated assault rose from 16 in 2005 to 28 in last year. The decade-high was 66 in 2004. The low since 2000 was 16 in 2005, with 2002 and 2003 trailing with 24 aggravated assaults in each of those years.
Last year, thefts rose from 119 to 122. The larceny theft high was set at 145 in 2002, the low at 117 in 2000. More thefts were cleared last year than in the six prior years, continuing the trend set in 2001 of clearing more larceny theft cases than in the previous year. Only five were cleared in 2000, 33 in 2001, 37 in 2002, 41 in 2003, 47 in 2004, 56 in 2005 and a whopping 95 last year.
There was also one arson last year, the same as in 2004. There were no arsons recorded in 2005, nor in 2000 or 2001. The seven-year high was three in 2003, with 2002 second with two arsons.