Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TOP STORY >> FBI releases crime rates

Leader staff writer

Three area cities are above the state average in recently released FBI crime statistics for 2010.

The other five cities in The Leader coverage area were below the state average.

According to the report, violent crimes and property crimes fell in 2010 across the nation. The rates in Arkansas also fell in all categories except aggravated assaults, which saw a slight rise.

But what about the local area? How safe was it in 2010?

Based on the numbers in the FBI report, Beebe had more violent crime — almost eight incidents per 1,000 residents, followed closely by Lonoke at 7.4 incidents per 1,000 people. Lonoke also had its first murder in five years this weekend.

The city with the least violent crime in 2010 was Carlisle, with less than two incidents per 1,000 residents. Cabot was the next best place at 2.8 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

The state average for 2010 was five violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Beebe, Lonoke and Jacksonville were above the state average. Carlisle, Cabot, Sherwood, Ward and Searcy fell below the state violent crime average.

The annual report lists violent crimes — such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults, as well as property crimes — such as burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

In 2010, two local cities, Jacksonville and Sherwood, reported homicides. The state recorded 138 murders during 2010.

Looking at area cities, from most violent to least, Beebe reported 56 violent crimes in 2010 or a rate of 7.8 per 1,000 residents. The crime included no murders, six rapes, two robberies and 48 aggravated assaults. The city also reported 302 properties crimes which included 114 burglaries, 177 thefts, 11 motor vehicle thefts and one arson.

Lonoke had 35 violent crimes or a rate of 7.4 per 1,000. The crimes included no murders, two rapes, two robberies and 31 aggravated assaults. The city had 188 property crimes including 42 burglary, 145 thefts, one stolen vehicle and one arson.

Jacksonville had 190 violent crimes for the year, or a rate of 5.9 per 1,000 residents. The crimes included one murder, 27 rapes, 30 robberies and 132 aggravated robberies. The city suffered 1,333 property crimes, including 364 burglaries, 903 thefts, 66 motor vehicle thefts and five arsons.

Ward had 20 violent crimes for a rate of 4.6 per 1,000, just under the state average. The crimes included no murders, four rapes, no robberies and 16 aggravated assaults. Property crimes numbered 128 with 38 burglaries, 88 thefts, two motor vehicle thefts and no arsons.

Sherwood had 130 violent crimes reported in 2010 for a rate of 4.4 per 1,000. Crimes included one murder, six rapes, six robberies and 117 aggravated assaults. The city reported 965 property crimes during the year, including 205 burglaries, 708 thefts, 52 stolen vehicles and six arsons.

Searcy had 74 violent crimes for a rate of 3.1 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. There were no murders but four rapes, 16 robberies and 54 aggravated assaults occurred. Property crime in Searcy was reported at 1,216 incidents, including 413 burglaries, 771 thefts, 32 stolen vehicles and five arsons.

Cabot listed 72 violent crimes for a rate of 2.8 per 1,000 residents.  Again, no murders, but 12 rapes, eight robberies and 52 aggravated assaults were reported. The city had 1,048 property crimes in 2010, including 493 burglaries, 535 thefts, 20 stolen vehicles and one arson.

Carlisle reported just four violent crimes during 2010 for a rate of 1.6 per 1,000 residents and those were aggravated assaults. The city also had 37 property crimes which included 15 burglaries, 21 thefts and one stolen vehicle.