Although the numbers are not official yet, early reports indicate overall Group A reportable crimes have increased by 7.5 % in 2014. This represents 157 more reported crimes than in 2013. Looking historically at the broader picture, the city is still experiencing a 30% decrease in Group A reportable crimes since 2010.
“We take these numbers very seriously”, said Chief Mickey Miller. Looking closer at the increased number of reports, we see the leading cause was attributed to Simple Assaults. In 2013, Hendersonville reported 311 Simple Assaults, and in 2014 that number grew to 391, an increase of 80 reports or up 25.7%. Most of these Simple Assaults are attributed to domestic violence cases. In 2013, 61% of the reported Simple Assaults were domestic related. In 2014 that number grew to 68%. Domestic cases involving assaults are not crimes that can be easily patterned, or identified making prevention more difficult.
The next contributing factor for the increase can be directed tied to an increase in drug arrests. Drugs/Narcotic Violations and Drugs/Narcotic Equipment Violations both saw a significant rise with an increase of 41, and 44 reported crimes respectively. These particular crimes have a high clearance rate averaging 92% as most reported crimes result in an arrest.
Other individual areas of increase were noted to include Commercial Burglaries, up from 17 to 29 or 70.5%, Aggravated Assaults, up from 80 to 90, or 12.5% and Theft, All Other, up from 103 to 114 or 10.6%.
Even with the overall increase, we are still seeing several categories that have decreased. Weapon Violations, down -33.3%, Robbery, down -20%, Shoplifting, down -13.8%, Theft from Motor Vehicles, down -3.9%, and Residential Burglaries, down -2.5 %.
In the fall of 2010, Hendersonville Police began a Community Service Program. It was created to engage the public through a series of one-on-one community meetings to share our strategy of reducing crime, and listening to the ideas and problems unique to the particular neighborhood group. The Community Service Program continues to be a great partnership between the police department and the citizens. To date, we have met with hundreds of citizens representing over 30 community groups, and we continue to build these relationships. This program has been a major key to our continued success.
If you have not had an opportunity to participate in a community group meeting, or if you would like more information on any of the services provided by the department, we encourage you to please visit our website, or call 615-590-2677 for more information.