Leader Blues

Saturday, September 30, 2006

TOP STORY>>Crime rate goes up in many areas

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Major crime jumped 5 percent in Arkansas in 2005, while arrests for those crimes fell 8 percent, according to a recently released crime index report by the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

Major crimes tracked by the state for its crime index include murder, rape, robbery aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Based on those crime categories, Jacksonville’s crime indices, with a rate of 71 incidents per 1,000 residents, was behind North Little Rock at 107.1 per 1,000 residents and Little Rock at 106.7.

Beebe came in with a crime rate of 54.5 incidents per 1,000 residents; Searcy with a rate of 48 per 1,000; Lonoke with a rate of 46.2 incidents per 1,000 residents; Ward with a rate of 44 per 1,000, and Sherwood at 40.2 per 1,000.

Cities with the lowest crime rate in the area include Carlisle at 21.8 incidents per 1,000 residents; England with 23.3 incidents per 1,000, and Cabot at 31.1 per 1,000.

Overall, Pulaski County had a crime rate in 2005 of 88.6 incidents per 1,000 residents, while White County was at 33.4 per 1,000, and Lonoke County was at 25.2 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Per capita crime, based on the index, was up in Jacksonville and Pulaski County, but lower in the other area cities and counties.

Jacksonville reported one murder in 2005, along with eight rapes, 58 robberies, 156 aggravated assaults, 431 burglaries, 1,427 thefts, 103 motor vehicles, and two arsons.

Sherwood had no murders or arsons, two rapes, 15 robberies, 84 aggravated assaults, 153 burglaries, 588 thefts and 74 motor vehicle thefts.

Cabot had no murders or arsons in 2005, but had five rapes, one robbery, 13 aggravated assaults, 123 burglaries, 467 thefts and seven motor vehicle thefts.

Lonoke had one murder, one rape, six robberies, 33 aggravated assaults, 33 burglaries, 127 thefts, nine motor vehicle thefts and no arsons.

Beebe had no murders, rapes, arsons or robberies in 2005, but did have 12 aggravated assaults, 58 burglaries, 219 thefts and 13 motor vehicle thefts.

Searcy had one murder, eight rapes, 13 robberies, 125 aggravated assaults, 130 burglaries, 665 thefts, 49 motor vehicle thefts and no arsons.

Major crimes tracked by the state include the violent crimes of murder, up 4.9 percent across the state; rape, up 2.7 percent; robbery, up 8.2 percent; and aggravated assault, up 10 percent.

Other crimes tracked as part of the state index include burglary, up 3.7 percent; theft, up 3.7 percent; motor vehicle theft, up 16.1 percent; and arson, the only category down, falling 33.8 percent.

Arrests for major crime across the state were down in 2005 from 2004, ranging from a 23 percent drop in arson arrests to a 1.3 percent arrest drop in motor vehicle arrests.

Some arrest categories were up substantial, but are not include in the crime index.

According to the ACIC, arrests for liquor law violations was up almost 270 percent, DUI arrests were up about 58 percent, and vagrancy arrests were up 93 percent.

Overall, in 2005, 144,641 arrests were made, up 22.3 percent from 2004, but only 18,538 of those were for the major crimes tracked for the crime index—a drop of 8.4 percent.

Of the 12,327 narcotic arrests in the state in 2005, 18 percent were for sale and manufacturing, while 82 percent were for possession.