The 2018 Uniform Crime Report for the Springfield Police Department shows overall downward trends for crime in the city.
The report shows decreases in almost every crime category.
Crimes against persons (rape, robbery, homicide and assault) fell 1.8 percent with 40 fewer incidents than the previous year. The number of homicides went up from 14 to 16, but Springfield police chief Paul Williams noted the majority were not domestic violence related compared to previous years.
According to SPD spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey, there were six homicides in 2017 connected to domestic violence and two in 2018.
Aggravated assault jumped four percent for the year with a spike in reported assaults in December. Incidents in December 2018 were triple the amount of December 2017 (from 9 to 27).
“Unfortunately as 2018 came to a close we experienced a spike in aggravated assaults being reported,” Police Chief Paul Williams stated in a media release. “However, In the past, a large portion of those crimes were related to domestic violence, but that was only the case with 27 percent of aggravated assaults last year.”
Robberies from nearly 23 percent overall for the year and reported sexual assaults were down five percent.
Stolen vehicles dropped more than 25 percent from 2017’s final total. That meant 499 fewer stolen vehicles in the city. Theft was down almost 22 percent and burglaries down over 11 percent.
Chief Williams attributes the fall in property crimes to education efforts and alert citizens.
“In addition to targeted enforcement, our community-wide education efforts are bearing fruit. We are seeing the results of people being more vigilant about crime prevention. Citizens are active in neighborhood watch and are taking steps to secure their vehicles by removing their keys, locking the doors, and stowing property out of sight,” the Chief said. “We are happy to see this change and we hope it is something that continues.”