Crime Report / Statistics

Crime Report 

January 25, 2016

Regularly, appointed and elected officials across this state and/or nation engage in an array of strategic planning processes aimed at finding a balance between community/government needs versus available revenue.  The reality of such exercise(s) is that statistics are often used to identify, evaluate and prioritize trending issues, which may influence community/government decision-making, effectiveness, vitality and/or practicality of action(s).

Albeit statistics can be a valuable tool in planning processes, they need to be appropriately weighted.  All too often, statistics are used to rank and compare services or agencies with little regard to the misleading perceptions they may create.  Perhaps, the biggest pitfall of using statistics for comparable purposes is that statistics do not represent the uniqueness of a given locale or scenario.

Crime data for example is merely a reflection of outcomes; it does not necessarily reflect the true picture.  Some of the more common factors that affect perceptions, but are not reflected in numbers are:

  • Population density/urbanization
  • Variations in demographics
  • Stability of population (i.e. residents v. commuters, visitors, transients, etc.)
  • Economic conditions (i.e. poverty v. affluence)
  • Geographic location (i.e. highway/interstate proximity, correctional facilities, social services, etc.)
  • Climate
  • Legal/Constitutional variables
  • Community engagement/advocacy
  • Law enforcement allocation
  • Record system information tracking/reporting protocols

The real take away is that statistics, which are appropriately weighted, have value, but should not be used to evaluate, rank or compare effectiveness in and of themselves.

The Pendleton Police Department is staffed with (24) sworn members and (4) support staff. The current allocation of sworn personnel has increased by one (1) position since 1968.  Although population has not significantly increased, service demands have.  The following information is offered to give citizens an idea of the type and frequency of crime being committed in the City of Pendleton.  The crime information contained herein is restricted to the crime data tracked and disseminated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations through National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS).  NIBRS is the new/preferred methodology of compiling and collating crime statistics.  NIBRS replaces the traditional Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which only showed statistical data in eleven categories.  NIBRS tracks crime information in fifty-one categories.  All law enforcement agencies are required to migrate from UCR to NIBRS by January 1, 2021.  The Pendleton Police Department is currently using NIBRS and the fact the police department changed Records Management System(s) in 2014 contribute to the disparity between 2015 numbers and those that precede 2015.

Crime/Incident Type

By Year

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015*

%Change +/-

Homicide/Murder

0

0

3

1

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

Static

Rape

14

16

25

18

8

8

15

2

7

9

4

-56 (5)

Robbery

10

6

20

21

12

14

7

7

12

13

7

-46.2 (6)

Aggravated Assault

40

54

52

57

30

30

17

28

27

9

20

+55 (11)

Burglary

167

157

151

129

119

94

71

149

102

106

61

-42.5 (45)

Larceny

795

778

816

619

492

548

496

646

673

683

637

-6.8 (46)

Auto Theft

67

80

77

36

36

35

30

50

42

56

30

-53.5 (26)

Arson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

3

+66.7 (2)

Total Violent

64

76

100

97

51

53

39

38

47

31

N/A

No longer tracked

Total Persons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

197

New

Total Society

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

309

New (ex: vandalism)

Total Property

1029

1015

1044

784

647

677

597

845

790

845

596

-30 (249)

Total Offenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1102

New

Population

16820

16909

16620

16490

16378

16612

16789

16903

 

16935

16969

 

Calls for Service

 

 

 

 

35898

31639

32816

30281

29272

44706

19101

 

Officer Initiated

Activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30364

10325

 

Traffic Stops

 

 

 

 

5028

4171

4598

3891

5279

12181

5154

 

*The department switched to a new Records Management System May 21, 2014, which has different records protocols than the system used from 2005 to May of 2014.  The merging of two different records systems caused a significant spike in numbers, which validates the assertion that statistics should not be solely used to compare/evaluate. The new records system has much more comprehensive query parameters, which allow for more accurate cataloguing of information in more categories…hence the high numbers between 2014 and 2015 calls for service, officer initiated and traffic stop data.

Homicide – The last murder investigated by the police department was committed in 2013, which culminated in a 35-year plea from the defendant.  There were no murders committed in 2015.  The 10 year average for the City of Pendleton is under (1) per year, which consistent with the national average for cities with populations ranging from 10,000 to 24,999 (0-1). Pendleton 0 v. National 0-1

Rape – The number of rapes investigated in 2015 decreased by (5) or 56% although   the FBI expanded the reporting criteria for the crime of rape.  Pendleton 4 v. National: 2-7 (national likely to change due to broadening of reporting criteria)

Robbery – Three (3) or 42% of the robberies investigated in 2015 were the result of combative shoplifters.  By definition, robbery statutes state in substance that while in the commission of theft a person threatens and/or uses imminent physical force upon another. Contrary to popular belief, weapons are not required to commit the crime of robbery. Pendleton 7 v. National 7-12

Aggravated Assault - The department saw a significant increase (55%) in aggravated assault activities between 2014 and 2015.  In total, eleven (11) more cases were reported/investigated in 2015.  Although the causational factor is not known, one contributing factor may be the referral of all domestic assault cases to the District Attorney’s Office in 2014.  The District Attorney assigned a single Deputy District Attorney to aggressively prosecute said offenders, which resulted in more prison sentences and/or treatment oriented programs/supervision models.  Without significant consequences, domestic abusers tend to escalate from simple assault to aggravated assault. Ironically, the designated prosecutor left the District Attorney’s Office.  Pendleton 20 v. National 13-41

Burglary- The numbers were down (42.5%) or forty-five cases in 2015.  Property crimes continue to be an issue for all communities.  The propensity to commit property crimes is often fueled by addiction issues. Many of the property crimes reported end up being civil disputes, which law enforcement has no authority to enforce without court order.  That said, 2015 numbers represent a 10-year low. Pendleton 61 v. National 117-156

Larceny – The community experienced a 6.8% decrease in theft related incidents in 2015.

Of all the theft cases investigated, shoplifting accounts for 29% of the total larceny cases.

Pendleton 637 v. National 585-663

Auto Theft – Auto theft decreased by 53.5% or 26 cases in 2015.  The majority of cases involved the suspect being an acquaintance, family member or friend of the victim.  Almost 10% of the cases involved drive offs or failure to return test drives or rental cars.  All too many of these cases are the result of keys being left in the victim vehicle, or not needing a key to start. Pendleton 30 v. National 49-80

Arson- Was up by two cases in 2015 for a total of 3.

Conclusion: Overall, the City of Pendleton is a safe place to live.  There are a number of things the community can do to help deter criminal activity:

  • Violent crime
    • Avoid routines and/or predictable patterns of behavior
    • Do not share personal information with persons who are not know to you
    • Plan ahead and an communicate plans with others
    • Avoid being alone in places of vulnerability
    • Avoid consuming alcohol, medication or other drugs when around strangers or persons not well known to you.
    • If consuming beverages, do not leave glass, bottle, etc. unattended
    • Use technology to your advantage (i.e. cell phones)
    • Park and/or exercise in well-lit populated areas
    • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
    • Lock an light homes/properties
    • Listen to what our kids are saying and educate yourself on signs of neglect/abuse
  • Property crime
    • Light, lock secure and identify all property with distinguishing number/markings
    • Maintain inventories of valuables, and secure them
    • Do not loan items to persons you do not know/trust
    • Keep personal information secure especially when shopping and/or filling out applications via the Internet
    • Secure purses and wallets to the front of your person 

Always remember this simple formula when determining if your are doing everything you can to keep yourself, family, neighborhood and community safe:

  • Do not allow yourself to be considered an available target by being complacent
  • Be willing to report suspicious activity to the police…embrace the responsibility of being a concerned guardian of your community

If we as citizens are attentive to the previous bullet points, we will have a significant impact on the third prong of criminality, which relates to the motivated offender.  The harder we make it for criminal to victimize us, the more likely they will be to find another community to abuse.