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September 25, 2013

Violent crime, property crime down in Rochester

FBI releases new crime data for 2012

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER — Violent and property crimes in Rochester have decreased over the last year, according to statistics recently released by the FBI.

The number of violent crimes citywide fell from 11 incidents in 2011 to nine in 2012, while Rochester’s property crime incidents dropped from 150 in 2011 to 132 in 2012, according to the 2012 FBI’s Crime in the United States report.

“I think it accurately reflects what’s happening in the community and in the area,” said Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm. “We’re happy with the numbers, but our job is never done until everything is down to zero, so we keep working at it.”

Aggravated assault, arson, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and robbery also decreased in Rochester, while murder and non-negligent manslaughter stayed the same both years at zero.

“(It is) the combination of the active police patrols and then cooperation from citizens. Regarding larceny-theft offenses, (those) can certainly be greatly cut by people’s efforts to bring in things out of their cars, shut their garage doors and do those small crime-prevention things that we are always bringing up that can help continue to lower those numbers,” he said.

Offenses that were on the rise in Rochester were burglary and rape. Burglary rose from 16 in 2011 to 24 in 2012, and forcible rape increased from no incidents in 2011 to one in 2012.

“There was a slight uptick in the burglary offenses,” Schettenhelm said. “That can actually be attributed to one individual that was out working in our area who was probably responsible, in large part, to that increase. That person actually was arrested and prosecuted for a number of those burglaries.”

Nationally, violent crime — which includes murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — saw a 0.7 percent increase. Property crime — which includes burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson — dropped by 0.9 percent nationwide, the 10th consecutive year property crimes have shown a decline.

The FBI’s report, according to Schettenhelm, is really a snapshot of crime activity for the entire year, which Rochester police constantly keep an eye on.

“We’re obviously spotting trends and tailoring our patrols on a daily basis,” he said. “We also provide monthly reports to the City Council just so everyone knows how things are stacking up.”

As always, Schettenhelm encourages residents to be aware of their surroundings and take steps to prevent crimes from happening, such as locking doors and windows before leaving a home or business, closing garage doors, as well as locking cars and removing valuables from inside them.

“Yes, Rochester is a safe community, but we could always try to make it safer,” he said.

To view a complete report of the FBI’s crime statistics for 2012, visit www.fbi.gov.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.