F’ville crime rate drops to lowest since pre-1994

The 2009 Annual Report released by the Fayetteville Police Department shows a lower incidence of serious crimes in the city than at any time since prior to 1994.

Occurrences of the most serious crimes in 2009 decreased by more than 21 percent over 2008 while less serious crimes increased more than 11 percent during the same period.

Released last week, the report included summaries for Part 1 crimes and Part 2 crimes over the past 16 years. Part 1 crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft, while Part 2 crimes include all other crime categories.

Overall, Part 1 crimes decreased 21.28 percent in 2009 over 2008 with 444 documented. Part 2 crimes increased 11.22 percent in 2009, with 674 crimes compared to 606 in 2008.

In Part 1 crimes, the city saw an increase in robberies last year, from seven to nine, but experienced a decrease in aggravated assaults, burglary and larceny, according to the report.

Significant in the report was the decrease in Part 1 crimes, not just in the past year, but over time. Part 1 crimes in 1994 totaled 454 and reached a peak of 669 in 2000. Part 1 crimes decreased to 589 in 2001 then climbed to 672 in 2003. Serious crimes in the city have decreased every year since 2003, to the current low of 444.

The less serious Part 2 crimes increased from 606 in 2008 to 674 in 2009, up 11.22 percent.

The two largest increases were in arson, with two cases in 2009 compared to one case in 2008, and in offenses for driving under the influence. There were 74 DUI cases in 2008 compared to 110 in 2009. Last year saw a 35 percent decrease in weapons violations, the report said.

Looking at Part 2 crimes over the past 16 years, there were 502 offenses in 1994, with a steady increase to 864 in 1998. Part 2 crimes largely decreased until hitting 744 cases in 2003. Part 2 crimes decreased somewhat in 2004 and 2005, then rose to 689 in 2006. They decreased to 638 in 2007 and to 606 in 2008, then increased to 674 in 2009.

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Castle Doctrine perhaps?

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