The police department here has released their third quarter crime analysis, which revealed an increase in minor drug possession offenses but an small overall improvement in crime rates.
Larceny, drug posession, driving while impaired and vandalism were the most common crimes in the third quarter of 2014. Most crimes were reported on Wednesdays and Fridays, and the fewest occured on Sundays.
The 267 reported crimes is down about 10 percent from the same months of July through September of 2013.
Twenty percent fewer larcenies, the town’s most common crime, occured compared to the third quarter last year. At the end of quarter three in 2013, there were 317 larcenies and 233 in 2014.
The 2014 third quarter report points out that the agency uses “reduction in larcenies as the key marker of success” since incidents are so common.
Drug-related offenses are up 6 percent in Knightdale for the year-to-date with 94 drug-related incidents last year and 100 this year.
Fraud is up 19 percent, with 64 so far this year compared to 54 fraud-related offenses in 2013.
Burglary has decreased by 24 percent, however, with 39 incidents this year compared with 51 at this time last year.
Other minor crimes are down 16 percent.
Overall, the most common crimes were shoplifting (35 incidents), miscellaneous acts of larceny (27), possessing or buying drugs (25), driving while impaired (23), vandalism (18) and non-aggravated physical assault (16).
Although individual assaults increased from eight to 14 cases this year to date, police Chief Lawrence Capps said that many are domestic-type disputes in which those involved knew each other on a personal level.
He said that the department has been more consistent on completing reports on these types of assualts instead of simply mediating disputes.
Officers completed 123 greenway patrols in three months, with no assaults or major violent crimes. The department’s new Gem electric vehicle has already booked 8,000 miles patrolling the greenways, Capps said.
“We’re still seeing more events than we would like with DWIs and simple drug offenses,” Capps said. However, he said that the increased numbers point to increased proactive efforts of the officers. Although statistics will show an initial uptick as a result of a tougher crackdown, he said he hopes they will eventually decline.
“They’re doing their job,” Capps said of the officers. “They’re being vigilent and aggressive to take action against those crimes.”
He pointed out a case in which the officers completed a multi-agency checkpoint during September in Knightdale for DWI drivers, resulting in nine charges.
The department uses the quarterly findings to identify crime trends, analyze behaviors of individual criminals and determine proper response at a town level.
The report made no recommendations on action steps.
“By and large, we know what to expect about our traffic area problem areas,” Capps said. Most of those areas surround the 540 intersectiion and the commercial plazas near Widewaters Parkway.
“We’ve already got operations in place to help us deal with areas we’ve identified,” he said.