SAVANNAH, GA (January 14, 2015) Chief Joseph H. “Jack” Lumpkin Sr. is using year-end crime statistics for his Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department to renew his call for predictive and community policing by his department and collaboration with the public to fight crime.
Figures released today show violent crime increased 8.8 percent while property crime crept up less than a percent (.6 percent) for a 1.3 percent increase across the SCMPD jurisdiction. Shootings and robberies propelled the increase in violent crimes. Increases in thefts drove property crimes.
“Predictive Policing” involves analyzing crime data to predict where crimes might occur and intercepting them. “Community Policing,” for which Savannah police developed strong reputations in years past, involves the police and public working together to address issues and solve crimes. Lumpkin’s command staff is working to amplify those efforts.
“The growing violence in our community is unacceptable,” said Lumpkin. “Robberies are being committed by a relatively small number of suspects, and we are actively working to identify the suspects and charge them. More first-time robbers will attempt to take their place, but our goal will be to stop them as well.
Homicides increased by two over 2013 and aggravated assaults with guns increased by 35 incidents.
“Nearly all of the shootings are among people who know one another and choose firearms to settle conflicts ranging from drugs to domestic issues,” Lumpkin said. “We need better intelligence to foresee these seemingly spontaneous ‘arguments’ and most of that will have to come from the public. I encourage anyone aware of an escalating issue to call us, or CrimeStoppers, so we can intervene. That outcome is much better than to lose a family member or friend to violence.
“We must find a way to deal with the increased number of weapons in the hands of people who should not have them and collaborate with the citizenry to identify suspects and bring them to justice. This takes more than just a police department. It also involves neighbors, courts, service agencies and every member of this community.”
Among property crimes, the numbers reflect significant decreases in burglaries, while thefts have increased. Shoplifting reports, which is a function of commercial reporting, has gone up 29.1% in the last two years. Commercial and residential robberies are more concerning to most of the public and police.
If there is any silver lining in last year’s 1.3% overall increase in crime, it is that it came on the heels of one of the lowest violent crime years (in 2013 there were 851 reports) and two of the lowest property crime years in decades. (8,325 were reported in 2012 and 8,458 in 2013.)
The complete report can be found on the Metro Website, SCMPD.org under the “Crime Trends” tab.