Crime statistics show problems

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The numbers just don’t add up when it comes to crime in the City of Ironton.

Statistics show most crimes have increased from 2008. Yet arrests, reports and even traffic citations have all decreased significantly. That arithmetic simply doesn’t make sense and appears to be illustrative of accountability issues within the department.

Wouldn’t logic tell you that if the number of crimes committed jumped dramatically then, the arrests would go up at least somewhat proportionately? But that hasn’t happened.

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In the city, there were 311 arrests last year, compared to 401 in 2008. The number of reports filed dropped as well, from 1,475 in 2008 to 1,350 in 2009.

But crime was clearly on the rise.

The number of thefts and burglaries increased as well the number of stolen vehicles, thefts from vehicles, assaults and rapes.

There were some positives from the annual stats and we know the department has been shorthanded part of the year but that doesn’t excuse or explain it. We have to believe more can be done with the staff that is in place.

Traffic violations are a good example.

The number of traffic citations written in 2009 dropped substantially from the year before with 567 versus 1,251.

That seems to be an excessively low number. Let’s say the IPD had an average of 10 road officers last year. This equates to each officer only writing an average of less than 60 citations, which breaks down to five a month.

With the consistent problem with speeding and running stop signs in Ironton, these numbers are simply unacceptable.

Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey said, “This shows us where our weaknesses are and where we need to improve.”

We couldn’t agree more and urge the IPD to create a clear plan that shows exactly how our community will be cleaned up.