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Police chief offers report to commission

When St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox offered his semi-annual report on crime statistics to the City Commission during its meeting on Monday, his message was that the police department continues to build on its 19.3% drop in crime in 2017 by posting a 10% decrease in crime during the first six months of 2018 over the same period just a year ago.

The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) includes statistics of crimes in seven categories broken down into two primary groups, property crimes and violent crimes. Burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft are property crimes, and murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are considered violent crimes.

According to the UCR report, crime has dropped in almost every category and for some categories, the drop was substantial. In the last six months, the number of aggravated assaults dropped from 40 to 25, and burglaries from 52 to 34. These are the least reported crimes in those categories in the last 10 years.

Chief Fox says the overall positive report is the result of a combination of factors.

“Certainly, the SAPD is always vigilant, always watchful over the community and are quick to respond when needed,” said Fox. “But public education is a very important part of crime prevention and reminding the community that its police department is always on duty.”

In particular, Fox pointed to the department’s social media reminders twice a day. The first post is the department’s “Sunrise Safeguards,” and its “9pm Routine,” which is a part of a national initiative aimed at helping people remember to lock their doors and thus take an active role in preventing crimes of opportunity.  Follow the St. Augustine Police Department on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/STAUGPD.

The City Commission’s September 10 meeting is available for on-demand viewing at www.CityStAugTV.com. For more information about the report, contact the St. Augustine Police Department at 904.825.1074.