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Castleberry Fairs

Serious Crime Statistics Up in Berlin


September 12, 2012
BERLIN - The Berlin Police Commission was given crime statistics for this year through July at their meeting last Thursday. Almost every category of crime is up, many by a large percentage compared to last year.

Total calls for service for the entire year 2011 was 9,321. Through July 2012, total calls are already 12,684, a 36 percent increase, with five months of the year still to go.

Motor vehicle violations (stops, violations. warnings and DWI violations) were up between 30 to 107 percent. That, Deputy Chief Brian Valerino said, is mainly due to the increased sobriety checkpoints and grants that have been available to step up patrols.

Total arrests are up 35.49 percent, from 355 for 2011 to 481 so far this year. Protective custody arrests up 55.56 percent, from 36 to 56.

Some of the most serious crimes are showing serious increases. Assaults are up 92.31 percent, from a total of 65 last year to 125 so far this year; burglaries up 76.47 percent, from 17 last year to 30 so far this year; thefts up 43.39 percent, from 189 last year to 271 this year, felonies are up 39.74 percent, from 78 to 109; and misdemeanors up 22.92 percent, from 480 to 590.

There was one significant decrease, juvenile arrests are down 37.78 percent, from a total of 45 last year to 28 so far this year, but that may not necessarily represent good news. Valerino said officers lately have been focusing on the more serious crimes, and "we've had some pretty serious cases in the last couple of months."

"It's hard to pinpoint an exact cause," he said, when asked why the statistics had increased so much. "The economy has a lot to do with it. When people are unemployed they may not make the best use of their time."

Burglaries are up, he believes, mainly because people on drugs are trying to fund their habit.

"When you see an increase in drug activity, you see increases elsewhere, like assaults," he said.

Valerino said Berlin police are taking a very proactive approach to this problem.

Garnett Hill
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
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