STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford experienced a more than 16 percent decrease in “serious crime” over the first half of 2012 compared with the same time from the year before, FBI statistics show.
“Our proactive work has stemmed it,” Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau said.
The department’s Neighborhood Impact Unit has been active in combating domestic violence and working with people in the community as well as going to the courthouse, Fontneau said. He would like to have officers walk and bike the city streets, but the funding isn’t there, he said.
“We are making do with what we have,” Fontneau said of his department’s work to keep Stamford safe. Although Stamford had a large decrease in serious crimes, it saw a 9.5 percent increase in property crime and an overall 4.9 percent increase in crime, the statistics said. The largest crime increases were in burglaries, which were up by 23, and larcenies, where were up by 52, the statistics said.
“It’s not acceptable but understandable,” Fontneau said of the higher number of burglaries and larcenies. Many people are desperate, either by the bad economy or because they are struggling with drug addictions, he said. There seems to be a demand among burglars for prescription drugs, specifically oxycodone, and precious metals and jewels, Fontneau said.
Stamford’s crime statistics placed the city as 15th safest of 267 cities for the first part of 2012 and ended 2011 as the 14th safest. Though the police department does not have official numbers, Joe Hickey, research analyst for the department, said he expects to see a decrease in crime for 2012. Official numbers from the FBI won’t be available for several months.
The statistics defined serious crimes as homicide, rape, robbery and assault, and property crimes as burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. The FBI analyzed statistics only for cities with more than 100,000 residents.
Nationally, serious crime increased 1.9 percent and property crime increased 1.5 percent for the first half of 2012, compared with the first half of 2011.