Despite concerns over and , crime rates are down in the city.
That’s according to the Lakewood Police Department’s Annual Review for 2011, released on Wednesday.
The 62-page document, laying out all of the criminal activity over the past year, highlights mostly decreases in all of the major crimes categories: breaking and entering; felonious assault; robbery; and auto theft.
“One of the thing we always talk about is how cyclical crime is, said . “When you look at the numbers, you don’t always see dramatic increases and decreases in crime.”
“There are peaks and valleys.”
Here are some of the highlights:
- The total number of offenses in 2011 was 12,616 — a trend that continues to drop since 2002 when there were 17,192 offenses in Lakewood.
- Violent crimes are down 42 percent since 2005, from 341 to 198.
- It’s not all happy talk. There were five more burglaries in 2011 (182) than in 2010 (177). There were three murder/attempted murder charges; nine rapes and three arson charges in 2011 — all three categories slightly increased.
- Gun crimes — which hit a high of 59 in 2006 — are down in 2011 to 23 compared with 36 in 2010.
- There were six armed robberies on the street where a gun was used in 2011, compared with 12 the year before. There weren’t any armed robberies of businesses in the city in 2011 — there were 10 in 2005. “Robberies still occur,” said Malley. “It’s one of the most serious crimes we face, because it’s a personal interaction.”
- However, the number of strong-arm robberies (robberies in which no weapons were used) is plateaued, remaining mostly the same between 2010 and 2011.
- Using specialized data reporting, police learned that the most likely time for a robbery in Lakewood is at midnight on Wednesdays.
- There has been a 60 percent increase in marijuana-related arrests since 2005. Other drug charges and drug paraphernalia charges are also up in 2011.
- There is a 15 percent decrease in drunken driving arrests from 2010 to 2011.
Malley said there are myriad reasons for the decrease in many of the crimes in Lakewood.
Among them are community policing, the city’s criminal nuisance ordinances, police cruisers stationed at the city’s parks and a shift in staffing the road patrols.
“That’s the way to abate the perception that someone can commit a crime and get away with it,” Malley said.
“Certainly when crime goes up, we try to take steps to bring it back down. We don’t hide anything. Putting a report out there like this is a way for people to get correct information.”
Stay tuned to Lakewood Patch as we break down the report by category during the coming weeks.