Reported burglary cases increase in Kent, while overall crime falls

Emily Inverso

Major crimes in Kent are down 2.74 percent from 2009 to 2010. That amount continues the trend of a nation-wide decrease in violent crimes by 6 percent as reported by the FBI Monday.

In 2010, the Kent Police Department recorded 885 crimes that included homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson. That number is down by 26 from the 911 reported in 2009.

“We’re not Mayberry, here,” said Kent Police Chief Michelle Lee. “We do have robberies, we do have murders, so they’re not unheard of, but it is definitely great to see numbers going down.”

Kent saw a 20.93 percent increase in the number of burglaries from 129 in 2009 to 156 in 2010. All other major crime decreases vary, from as low as a 4 percent decrease to as high as nearly 41 percent decrease, according to the Kent police department’s 2010 annual report. .

The number of males between the ages of 18 and 25 is decreasing nationally and that could be a key factor in why crime rates are getting lower, said Paul Canfield, Kent Police administrative lieutenant.

“There is a national decrease in the nation’s population of those likely to offend or commit those types of crimes,” Canfield said. “Since there are fewer people to offend, there are fewer offenses.”

According to the Associated Press, the national crime rates decreased 10 percent for robberies, 5 percent for rapes and 4 percent for murder, non-negligent manslaughter and aggravated assault. The last time national rates were that low was in 1963.

On a national level, aggravated assaults accounted for 62.5 percent of the FBI estimated 1,246,248 violent crimes reported in 2010. In the city of Kent, though, larceny comprised the largest portion — 51 percent — of the city’s serious crime reports in 2010. Assault came in second at 24.5 percent.

“The past couple years I have been pleasantly surprised that people and students have been easier to deal with and more cooperative,” Lee said. “We had a nice spring and nice fall last year. We hope that trend continues.”

Contact Emily Inverso at [email protected].