2012 data show increase in violent crime
BY JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Monday, January 21, 2013
1/21/13 at 7:23 AM
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While overall crime reports are expected to be lower in 2012 than previous years, some violent crimes - including rape - saw increases, according to crime data from the Tulsa Police Department.
Homicides and burglaries saw large drops in 2012, with homicides at the lowest number in a decade, according to data.
The most significant increase was the number of rapes reported in 2012, which will likely end up at the highest level since 2006.
Seven of the eight crimes collected by the FBI for their statistics - homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft - are reported by the Tulsa Police. The eighth category, arson, is tracked by the Tulsa Fire Department. The final number of arsons in 2012 was not available from the Fire Department.
Crimes overall are expected to be down from 2011 to 2012, according to data from the Police Department. About 24,700 crimes were reported by the Tulsa Police Department through the year, a decrease of about 4 percent from 2011.
Data from January through November are based on the Uniform Crime Reports system, which is used by the FBI to produce its yearly national crime reports. More than 17,000 law enforcement agencies submit data for the reports.
The final crime report data takes about a month to compile and complete, so the data from December is based on preliminary reports and may differ from the final report released later this year.
The drop in crime reports is reflected in a large decrease in the number of burglaries in Tulsa last year. Burglaries had been on a steady increase for the past few years but dropped off last year.
"Our officers are getting to burglaries very quickly and have been able to catch some in the act or leaving the home," Officer Jillian Roberson said.
Robberies will end near the 1,090 robberies reported last year but were still significantly lower than the high of 1,381 reported in 2010. Aggravated assaults are expected to come in at about 2,500, a number similar to last year, and part of a decline reported since 2008.
More than 300 rapes were reported in 2012, according to official and preliminary data. In 2011, 266 rapes were reported.
The increase is concerning, Roberson said, but it's hard to say why those types of crimes would be higher from one year to the next.
"If there was, then we would stop it and then every year the rapes would be lower," Roberson said.
What's also concerning is the number of rapes and sexual assaults that may go unreported, she said.
"It takes a lot of courage to report a sexual assault," Roberson said. "They have to relive that and tell that story."
Roberson said two police academies last year helped bring staffing levels up, but high caseloads still put pressure on detectives.
Police continue to ask for the public's help in solving crimes, saying anonymous tips can often help break a case or move it along.
"We've had a lot of assistance from the citizens and community," Roberson said. "When they become good citizens and relay information, that's only going to help us."
Anyone with information about a crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS (2677). Tips may also be submitted online at tulsaworld.com/crimestoppers or by sending a tip in a text message. Send the text message to "CRIMES" (274637) with "TPD918" at the beginning of the message.
Tipsters remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.
Original Print Headline: Data show violent crime up in '12
Jerry Wofford 918-581-8310