By David Knopf/Richmond News
Richmond Police Chief Chad Burnine stops short of blaming the recession for an increase in property-related crime.
“I don’t know if there’s a good way to prove that,” Burnine said of any cause-and-effect link between high unemployment, reduced economic opportunity and spending, and property crime. “I could sit here and speculate all day long, but I don’t know whether the economy’s having any effect on that at all.”
His department’s 2012 statistics and year-to-date figures for 2013 show an upward trend in categories such as Burglary, Larceny and Auto Theft. And arrests in 2012, for both felonies and misdemeanors increased significantly over the previous year.
Burnine’s department recently added a new patrol officer and now has 11 people – including the chief and Detective Scott Bagley – working in enforcement.
In a summary of 2012 activity prepared for the city council, Burnine also reported increases in felony arrests (from 68 in 2011 to 105 in 2012) and misdemeanor arrests (458, 2011; 494, 2012.)
Included in those figures are increases in police activity investigating Larcenies (176 in 2011; 227 in 2012), Auto Theft (3, 2011; 11, 2012) and Fraud and Forgery (33, 2011; 48, 2012), all property-related crime.