January 31, 2014

News Release

For Immediate Release

Police release 2013 Uniform Crime Report

The Springfield Police Department's (SPD) 2013 crime reporting through the Uniform Crime Report has been completed.

"Our year-end data shows an overall rise in reported crime in Springfield of 3%," said Police Chief Paul Williams. "This is slightly above the 2.2% increase per year averaged over the last decade."

The total crimes against persons increased by over 18%, however, there was a 25% decrease in homicides, dropping from 16 to 12, 10 of which have been solved. Robberies increased by nearly 12%, with the increase being driven by residential robberies, commonly referred to as "home invasions," which increased by 66%. The SPD has found that the majority of these crimes occur in relation to drug activity, often with the involved suspect(s) and victim(s) knowing one another. Investigators were able to clear 45% of robbery cases, up from 34%. The Department, along with the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office (GCPAO), continues to target Springfield's most violent criminals in an operation known as "Crossfire." Last year, 20 violent criminals were targeted in the operation, seven of those targets are currently in prison, or jail, and 10 have been charged or have charges pending. The Department continues to battle the ongoing methamphetamine problem in Springfield, often the nexus to violent criminal behavior. Last year, SPD narcotics investigators seized a total of 22.56 pounds of methamphetamine, a significant increase in meth seizures from the year before.

Incidents of aggravated assault continue to rise, accounting for 64% of the year's total crimes against persons. Aggravated assaults routinely are found to be the result of domestic violence situations. In 2013, the SPD partnered with numerous community organizations to create the Family Violence Task Force. The group has been working to reduce domestic violence in the area while also encouraging more reporting of these types of incidents by providing high-quality educational opportunities for officers, prosecutors, and the general public. Working with the GCPAO, the SPD also initiated additional enforcement efforts to address repeat offenders.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, the Department of Justice changed the definition of rape with the goal of a more comprehensive statistical reporting of this crime nationwide. Due to the definition change, more sexual assault cases are now classified as rape, causing a 99% increase (SPD anticipated up to a 100% increase in this category due to the reporting change).

"While the perception will be that rapes increased significantly in the last year, the reality is the new definition has given us a truer perspective on the number of sexual assaults that had actually been occurring in our community," said Williams.

Overall, property crimes increased only slightly (a little over 1%), in a large part due to increased community awareness and crime prevention initiatives undertaken by the Department, as well as increased enforcement efforts. In 2013, the SPD partnered with the GCPAO to target 25 repeat property offenders in an operation titled "Rollin' Stolen." The result of the year-long operation saw nine of the offenders remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections, while 12 of the targets are in the Greene County Jail awaiting trial or sentencing. Those remaining on the list are currently under investigation or have outstanding warrants issued for their arrest.

While incidents involving larceny/theft remained steady over the last year, burglary (up 4%) and auto theft (up 9%) continue to increase. To combat these issues, the Department has created a new vehicle theft unit to focus on the investigation of such crimes, while freeing up other investigators to concentrate on burglary investigations. As a result, clearance rates of both of these crime types increased by 4% (to 12% and 20% respectively). The SPD is actively seeking to educate the public on avoiding becoming the next victim of auto theft. Analysis of these crimes indicate that many times, victims have left cars running unattended or have left a key somewhere inside an unlocked vehicle.

"Despite the increases shown in the report, Springfield remains a safe place to live, work, and play," said Williams. "By working together, our Department and the community are reducing the fear of crime and the occurrence of crime and improving the quality of life in neighborhoods citywide."

Download the 2013 Uniform Crime Report (pdf).

Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer
O: 864-1786 | C: 839-5301
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