County crime increased in 2016

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Charlotte County was shown to have had approximately 44 more incidents of serious crimes in 2016 than in 2015, according to the Virginia State Police (VSP) 2016 Crime Analysis released June 30.

The analysis, containing data between January and December of 2016, cites that 314 incidents were handled by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office while 40 incidents were handled by VSP.

Charlotte County Investigator Johnny Wright said he couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the increase.

“A lot of larcenies were getting solved but why it’s an increase I really couldn’t tell you,” Wright said.

He noted the sheriff’s office has faced a lot of larceny incidents over the course of 2017.

“But we are solving a lot of them, that’s the good part, so far (this year) anyway,” Wright said.

Crime rate increases include 18 more aggravated assault charges in 2016 than in 2015 between both the sheriff’s office and VSP. The county also saw 16 more larcenies in 2016 than in 2015 between both the sheriff’s office and State Police.

According to a VSP press release, statewide numbers showed a 10 percent increase in violent crime — which include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — in 2016 compared to 2015. Homicides increased from 382 to 480.

“Property crime — burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft — overall remain mostly unchanged from the previous year,” officials said in the release.

The release cited statewide drug and narcotic arrests increases overall by 8.7 percent.

“Marijuana was associated with more drug arrests than any other drug,” officials said in the release. “Marijuana arrests increased 10.6 percent compared to the previous reporting period while arrests for heroin, ‘crack’ cocaine and powder cocaine showed an even greater percent increase compared to the previous reporting period.”

The release cited heroin arrests increased by 17.1 percent, crack cocaine arrests increased by 11.1 percent and powder cocaine increased by 19.4 percent. Robbery increased 7.6 percent.

“Of the 4,796 robberies and attempted robberies, 31.8 percent took place between 8 p.m. and midnight,” officials said in the release. “Days of the week showed little variability in terms of the number of robberies that took place.”

The release also cited a 11.6 decrease in hate crimes compared to 2015.

“Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices,” officials said in the release. “The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia.”