Early Crime Report Confirms Decrease In Salisbury

SALISBURY – Part I crime decreased nearly 12 percent in Salisbury in 2018, according to preliminary data released last week.

In a briefing held last Wednesday, City of Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan reported on preliminary year-end crime data for 2018.

“The data that I am going to present today is what we report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their Uniform Crime Reporting Program …,” she said. “UCR data is really a snapshot of crime which is reported to law enforcement on a monthly basis. Sometimes there are variations in our numbers because of late reporting of crimes or crimes that are not fully investigated by the end of the month or in fact the end of the year.”

According to Duncan, overall reported Part I crimes, – which include homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft and arson – decreased nearly 12 percent compared to 2017.

“We have a grand total of 1,821 crimes reported through just about the end of December of 2018,” she said. “That is the lowest number of Part I crimes that we have worked on here in the city in over 20 years. That’s incredible.”

While reported rapes increased from 20 to 21 in 2018, homicides decreased from 7 to 3, robberies decreased from 94 to 73, aggravated assaults decreased from 170 to 166 and burglaries decreased from 275 to 196.

In addition, larceny-theft decreased from 1,439 to 1,312, motor vehicle thefts decreased from 70 to 41, and arson decreased from 9 to 6.

“Our goals in 2018 were to push those numbers down and increase community engagement,” she said, “and that result, as you can see, worked very, very well for our whole city.”

Duncan attributed the decrease in reported crimes to the police department’s involvement in youth sports, mentoring programs, community conversation events and pop-up bus stops, among other things.

“In addition to that we are also fortunate enough here in the city to have local businesses, area businesses, connect and support with our city administration to provide full-time summer employment for our youth here in Salisbury,” she said. “All of these things, combined with the talented skillsets here at the police department, are really making a true, significant impact in our overall crime.”

Duncan also recognized department staff and supporting agencies for their efforts.

“Simply put, we have some incredible men and women here, both sworn and civilian, that work very, very hard every single day to provide police services to the city,” she said.

Duncan added the department would continue its efforts in the new news.

“In 2019, we continue to look forward to our partnerships we’ve developed over the years and continue to provide policing services to once again continue in that direction,” she said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.