New Orleans, La. - The New Orleans Police Department says major crime fell by about six percent in the second quarter of this year, according to a key benchmark used by law enforcement authorities nationwide.
The following is a press release sent to news media Friday:
(August 2, 2012)- Overall major crime in New Orleans was down nearly 6% in the second quarter of 2012 compared to last year at this time. The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for the months of April, May and June of this year also shows a 25% drop in burglaries, an 8 % decrease in armed robberies, a 15% fall in the number of rapes and a 10% decrease in auto thefts.
There were some increases in the number of simple robberies, assaults and thefts. And while the number of murders rose in the second quarter compared to last year, the murder total from January through June of this year was actually 8% lower than the total number of murders in the first half of last year.
"Double-digit drops in the percentages of rapes, burglaries and auto thefts are encouraging, and prove that- despite the on-going transformation of this department- our officers are focused, working hard and making a difference in our neighborhoods", said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
"We continue to move in the right direction, and I remain confident that the dip in overall crime will extend through the end of the year", Serpas said.
"New Orleans' murders continue overwhelmingly to originate between people who know each other and choose to resolve arguments by ending lives. These are the most disturbing and frustrating crimes our city faces. But I believe with the community's help, we can and will curb this most heinous crime."
The 2nd Quarter UCRs for 2012 are attached.
Two years ago, the NOPD- which receives about 9,500 calls for service every week- initiated several auditing procedures to ensure that crime reporting is as accurate as possible.
One of these new practices is the "victim call-back" system. Starting in the summer of 2010, NOPD supervisors started randomly selecting and then calling victims of crimes (like armed robberies or assaults), reading them the reports written by the investigating officers, and asking them if the reports were an accurate account of what happened to them. With the permission of victims, the calls have been and continue to be recorded.
Since August of 2010, 1,366 victims have been called back by our supervisors. In 99% of the cases, victims have said the reports were accurate. In 23% of these call backs, supervisors were able to obtain additional information from victims to further advance our investigations. As with any occupation, human error does occur. But the system of crime reports is proving to be reliable.
The NOPD actually has six different audit and quality control systems in place operating continuously, four of which have been added during Chief Serpas' tenure. To read about them, please visit http://www.nola.gov/GOVERNMENT/NOPD/NOPD-Police-Reports-and-Audits-2012/