Assault cases rise slighly in 2011Assaults are up in Jamestown, according to the 2011 Jamestown Police Department annual report, but it’s nothing that should raise concern, says the department chief.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Assaults are up in Jamestown, according to the 2011 Jamestown Police Department annual report, but it’s nothing that should raise concern, says the department chief.
Simple, domestic and aggravated results have climbed marginally since 2009 to 189 combined cases in 2011, up from 174 in 2010 and 153 in 2009. But the trend is not up enough to raise any flags, said Chief of Police Scott Edinger.
“I don’t think the number is a particularly big jump. We’ll see fluctuations like that on occasion …” Edinger said of the number of cases. “It’s obviously up, it’s a concern, but I don’t think there’s any particular cause for it.”
Part of the cause is repeat offenders prone to violence. Another aspect could be an influx of different personalities from the western part of the state, he said.
“I don’t know if we have some influx of people from outside the community …” Edinger said. “Some of that violence that’s gone on out west, we’re seeing some people come through here that have been involved in those instances, and that’s some of them — it’s not all of them.”
Juvenile referrals for simple assaults numbered 14 in 2011, from six referrals in 2010. The chief believes that number will drop as the department continues to have a presence in public schools.
“With the use of Officer Nick Hardy in the school resource position, he’s really taken care of a lot of issues taken place at the school and reduced the number of instances up there,” Edinger said. “A lot of things that would have been issues are taken care of earlier and done informally.”
Another positive trend he said he sees among juvenile referrals is a drop to 18 cases of possession of tobacco, from 28 in 2010. This mirrors the national trend.
However, shoplifting is up amongst juveniles and adults. Edinger said one store can influence the trend as was the case in Jamestown for 2011.
“Many of those I believe came from Walmart, and Walmart has loss prevention people up there now where they did not have them before,” he said.
In 2011 29 females and 27 males were arrested for shoplifting, up from 21 total cases in 2010. Of those arrests, eight were 16 years old, the largest demographic represented.
“You’d always like to see everything go down. Still in this area we have a relatively low level of crime and a very low level of serious crime,” Edinger said. “As the state grows, as we get an influx of population from elsewhere I think we’re bound to see some of these numbers climb.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org