The Hermiston Police Department is reporting a 33-percent drop in violent crime through the first six months of the year compared to the same period a year ago, and a 15-percent decrease in overall crime during the first two quarters.
“Realizing it can be very dangerous to focus solely on numbers with regard to prioritization of goals and objectives, (the report) is encouraging as we continue to see a drop in overall crime trends,” said Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston.
Through June, there have been five robbery reports, three aggravated assaults and 51 burglaries, compared to 2012 when there were reports of seven robberies, six aggravated assaults and 71 burglaries. In 2013, there have been 272 larcenies compared to 304 through June of 2012 and 29 car thefts this year compared to 36 a year ago.
The only major crime category that has increased over 2012 is rape, in which there have been two reported cases this year compared to one a year ago.
Overall, there have been 363 incidents reported in 2013 compared to 428 a year ago. Despite the drop in reports of car thefts, Edmiston said that number could be significantly lower if people took the simplest of precautions.
“Thirteen of the 29 stolen vehicles to date had the keys left inside the vehicle,” he said. “If we could educate the public to remove all items of value to include the keys, we would likely see a huge drop in that statistic as criminals are often opportunists.”