FARMINGTON — The Farmington Police Department has released a set of crime statistics that indicate an overall decline in calls for service as well as decreases in several types of property and violent crimes in 2021.
Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe presented the data to Farmington City Council at a Jan. 27 meeting.
Farmington Police shared several data tables that list crime statistics from 2016 to 2020, the average for those five years, and data for 2021.
The agency used the five-year average to compare it to 2021 data, which largely showed a general decrease in calls and crimes.
The data shows a decrease in 17 out of 20 crime categories as well as a decrease in calls for service, case reports and arrests of adults and minors, according to data provided to the Daily Times.
For example, the five-year average for adult arrests was 5,187 arrests while the 2021 rate was 4,305 arrests, resulting in a 17% decrease.
Hebbe told The Daily Times that his agency chose to use a five-year average to compare it to 2021 data because the 2020 data represented a ‘year of anomaly’ – he had ordered officers to reduce contact with civilians in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 almost two years ago.
The police chief struggled to explain why there was a decrease in 2021 compared to a five-year average, arguing that there is no simple answer to explain the changes.
“Overall, I think the report was good for us as a community that our serious crime and our property crimes in particular were down,” Hebbe said.
A graph showed that the total number of burglaries had fallen by around 53%, from an average of 530 cases to 248 cases for 2021.
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For violent crimes, it showed homicides fell by 60%, along with a 20% drop in robberies and a 3% increase in domestic violence crimes. There was a 26% drop in cases of criminal sexual penetration.
Hebbe was pleased to see a drop in cases of criminal sexual penetration and a decrease in crimes of theft.
Overall decline in property crime in recent years
Property crimes, including residential burglaries, were down 63%, commercial burglaries down 51% and vehicle burglaries down 49% comparing 2021 to a five-year average from 2016 to 2020.
A graph included by Farmington police was the number of property crimes down from 2017 to 2021. It showed 2,004 cases in 2017 which continued to decline in 2021 with 1,024 cases.
Hebbe noted that while violent crime “frightens people,” more residents are affected by property crime than any other category.
The police chief said he felt there was no simple answer to the drop in property crime.
He thought it was a possible combination of the department’s work to target crime in certain areas, improving its relationship with businesses in the area to improve crime reporting and just a general drop in the number of people committing property crimes.
Impaired crashes and injury crashes are still a concern
Hebbe noted that there was no real change in the number of vehicular crashes with injuries, as the 383 crashes in 2021 were just one digit short of 382 crashes in line with the five-year average.
DWIs just had a 2% decline comparing the five-year average to 2021.
The data has raised some concerns, after seeing an increase in impaired vehicle crashes with serious injuries last year.
“We continue to see that as a threat,” Hebbe said.
Farmington Police spent part of 2021 drawing attention to an increase in serious vehicle crashes of people driving under the influence of alcohol.
Farmington Police Sgt. Jason Thornburg previously told the Daily Times in August that officers were responding to more serious crashes with more serious injuries attributed to drinking and speeding.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or by email at [email protected]
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This article originally appeared on Farmington Daily Times: Farmington Police stats show drop in crimes and calls in 2021