In the first few months of 2013, there was a significant drop in the number of violent crimes committed in New Orleans, compared to the same time frame last year. The FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for the first quarter of this year shows double-digit drops in the number of armed robberies- down nearly 22%, and rapes- down more than 18%. Also headed in the right direction- the number of simple robberies fell nearly 8% and the number of murders was down more than 4%. Overall, violent crime fell more than 8% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to last year’s numbers during that time.
In terms of property crimes, the number of auto thefts plummeted more than 30% when compared to the first 3 months of 2012. But both thefts and burglaries were on the rise this first quarter. Thefts were up some 14% and burglaries climbed some 12%. In all, from January through March of this year, property crimes were up nearly 5% compared to the first quarter of 2012.
The end of the first quarter of 2013 also represents the 35 month anniversary of our administration of the NOPD. During this time, overall violent crime dropped 4.38%, property crimes were down 2.83% and total major crimes fell 3.1% compared to the 35 months before Ronal Serpas became Superintendent.
Some of the crime numbers during that period that fell include murder- down 3%,armed robberies- down 14%, aggravated assaults- down just over 9%, burglaries- which fell 15% and auto thefts- which were down 20% compared to the 35 months before Serpas returned to the NOPD.
Crimes that were up during the last 35 months include simple robberies- up 41%, thefts- up 12.5% and rape, which, because of a new classification system put in place since Superintendent Serpas was appointed, shows an increase of 61%. (It should be noted the increase in reported rapes is consistent with our realignment and reorganization of this unit in the summer of 2010 after we learned of instances of misclassifications of this crime.)
It’s also important to note that a new auditing procedure in place since June 2010 has resulted in supervisors randomly calling back 3,100 residents who were victims of crimes, to ask them if the police reports they filed with officers were accurate. Nearly 2,000 of those residents were successfully contacted, and more than 9 out of 10 of them said the reports filed were accurate accounts of what had happened. These calls were and are still being done in addition to more than 8,100 crime report reviews that have been conducted by supervisors since 2010. A full report on internal auditing procedures of police reports can be found the NOPD internet page.
“I am convinced that the reduction in overall crimes since May of 2010 shows that our accountability and crime-fighting strategies- as part of Mayor Landrieu’s “NOLA for Life” plan- have made a difference. I’m very proud of the men and women of the NOPD who have worked so hard these last three years, and formed a tighter relationship with the people of New Orleans. It’s a testament to them that overall crime during this lengthy time period is down. Our officers of today have done more with less, and they should be commended for this”, said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
“We look forward to adding more officers to the roster this year with two or possibly three new classes of recruits. We’ll be a stronger department because of this, and will be able to do more for the people we serve”.
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Contact: Remi Braden