Feb 7, 2013 11:49 PM by Erin Steuber
For the first time in three years crime has increased in the City of Lafayette. The 2012 statistics were released and show an increase of 2.4% overall. That includes increases in homicides, burglaries and thefts. But there are decrease in rapes, assaults, and auto theft. Chief Jim Craft says any increase in crime is a concern, but he stresses Lafayette is a safe place to live. He says the increase in crime this past year mirrors a national trend.
2012 was a busy year for Lafayette Police with increased calls, and increased crime.
"When you answer over 240,000 calls for service, 243,000 plus for service, you know a 2.4% increase is not bad. No increase is good, but it's not the end of the world," said Chief Craft.
If you look at the overall trend over the past five years, crime is still down nearly 9% from what it was in 2009. Craft says crime was down most of the year, until September.
"Had that trend continued we'd be talking about crime bing down in Lafayette by 12% over the past 3 years," said Craft. "But we had that little spike at the end of the year, and that's what caused that upward trend."
Burglaries and thefts were a problem last year, and homicides increased, doubling in Lafayette from 6 in 2011, to 12 in 2012, and two remain unsolved. Some residents say the overall increase in crime is a concern.
"I've been in Lafayette my whole life and to hear that the crime rate has gone up you kinda take it to heart," said Tyler Haetz.
"More patrols you know. Be more proactive than reactive so that it could possibly help diminish crime," said Danielle Thompson.
"We will try to increase the number of personnel we have on the road to answer calls and back up officers," said Chief Craft.
Chief Craft says it's important to call police no matter how small the crime may be. The department assigns officers depending on where crimes are committed.