January 25, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

2012 Uniform Crime Report

Springfield’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2012 (pdf) has been completed. The year shows an overall rise in reported crime in Springfield of 2.39%.

The report also shows a 28.25 % drop in theft from vehicles, helping fuel a negligible overall increase of .60% for all property crimes. There has been a 22.21% increase in crimes against persons in 2012.

According to the first six months of nationwide UCR data available from the FBI, increases in both violent crimes and property crimes were seen throughout the U.S.

“Springfield remains a safe place to live and work. We are confident that a majority of the increased crimes against persons are not due to random acts of violence, but are part of a larger issue of interpersonal relationships in which the participants are resorting to criminal acts against one another,” said Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams. “Property crime remains a major issue, and while we are solving more crimes each year, our overall goal is to work with the community to prevent these crimes from occurring in the first place.”

Aggravated Assaults: The increase in aggravated assaults is the result of domestic violence situations, and the Springfield Police Department has initiated meetings with various domestic abuse service organizations in an effort to launch preventative measures to curb domestic abuse. SPD has also initiated enforcement efforts to address repeat domestic abuse offenders and is partnering with the Greene County Prosecutors Office on this front. The police department works to identify and target known repeat violent offenders, through “Operation Crossfire” and will continue to do so in 2013.

Rape: Reported rapes increased this year after declining in 2011.

“In 2012, we experienced a total that was also 25% above the e five-year average for rapes in Springfield,” Williams said. “While these numbers are alarming, we do not see any trends pointing to any specific offenders, and in the majority of cases, the offender and victim knew each other. For those situations where the victim did not know the offender, intoxication often played a significant role in the attack.”

*It should be noted that Department of Justice has revised the definition of rape for UCR reporting purposes beginning 2013. It was originally defined as “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” The definition has expanded, and now makes no distinctions as to gender, and includes, “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/January/12-ag-018.html. This will cause a significant increase in rapes reported/counted for 2013.

Robbery: The increase in this category has come primarily from robberies of commercial establishments such as retail stores, or fast food restaurants. Within those categories, SPD often sees situations where a shoplifting turns into a robbery as an employee is attempting to intervene and the suspect resorts to physical force against the employee. Most commercial establishments have rules and policies prohibiting employees from physically attempting to restrain or capture a suspect, and SPD encourages employees to follow those guidelines.

Springfield also experienced more residential robberies than last year. In many of these cases the suspects are targeting a specific house in hopes of locating drugs and/or cash associated from drug sales.

Theft from Vehicles: There was a significant drop in this category in part thanks to the SPD public education campaign and signage (i.e., “Lock it to Stop it” and “Hide it, Lock it, Keep it”). Increased public awareness and cooperation has contributed to this decrease. Citizens can continue to see drops in this category by removing valuables from vehicles.

All other Thefts: A dramatic increase in shoplifting contributed to an overall increase in this category. The department investigated several out of state, organized shoplifting groups this past year as they moved through the region and SPD was able to present cases to the prosecutor on many of them. The Chief is hopeful the impact of these efforts will be felt throughout the year.

Burglary: There has been an overall increase in burglaries in Springfield, driven entirely by a large increase in daytime residential burglaries.

“We believe several different groups accounted for the majority of these types of burglaries and investigators have several cases pending review by the prosecutor’s office. We encourage citizens to keep their garage doors closed, doors locked, and have your newspaper and mail delivery stopped when out of town. Knowing your neighbors and calling 911 whenever something or someone appears out of the ordinary is essential to helping us combat this type of crime,” Williams said.

Media Contact: Cora Scott, phone: 417-380-3351
Release authorized by: Chief Paul Williams

springfield police department

Springfield Police Department

Headquarters: 321 E. Chestnut Expy., Springfield, MO 65802
South District Station: 2620 W. Battlefield Rd., Springfield, MO 65807
417-864-1810 • springfieldmo.gov/spd