CRIME

Farmington Police Department statistics show a decline in calls and crimes for 2021

COVID-19 causes crime stats for 2020 to be an "anomaly year"

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Farmington Police shared multiple tables of data which listed crime statistics for 2016 through 2020, the average of those five years and the data for 2021.
  • The data shows a decrease in 17 out of 21 crime categories along with decreases for calls for service, case reports, adult and juvenile arrests, according to data provided to The Daily Times.
  • Hebbe noted while violent crime “scares people,” more residents are impacted by property crimes more than any other category.

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Police Department has released a set of crime statistics that point to an overall decline in calls for service along with a decrease in multiple types of property and violent crimes during 2021.

Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe presented the data to the Farmington City Council during a Jan. 27 meeting.

Farmington police shared multiple tables of data that listed crime statistics for 2016 through 2020, the average of those five years and the data for 2021.

The agency used the five-year average to compare to the data for 2021, which largely showed decreases across the board in number of calls and crimes.

A table provided by the Farmington Police Department shows the calls for service, case reports along with adult and juvenile arrests for 2016 through 2020, the average of those five years and 2021.

The data shows a decrease in 17 out of 20 crime categories along with decreases for calls for service, case reports, and both adult and juvenile arrests, according to data provided to The Daily Times.

For example, the five-year average of adult arrests was 5,187 arrests when the 2021 rate was 4,305 arrests, leading to a decrease of 17 percent.

Hebbe told The Daily Times his agency chose to use a five-year average to compare to 2021 data as the 2020 data represented an “anomaly year” —he had directed officers to reduce contact with civilians in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19 nearly two years ago.

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Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe

The police chief did struggle to articulate why there was a decrease in 2021 when compared to a five-year average, arguing there is no simple answer to explain the changes.

“Overall, I thought the report was a good one for us, as a community that our serious crime and our property crimes in particular were down,” Hebbe said.

One chart showed the total number of burglaries had dropped about 53 percent, from an average of 530 cases down to 248 cases for 2021.

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For violent crimes, it showed homicides had a decline of 60 percent along with a 20 percent decline in robberies and an increase of 3 percent for domestic violence crimes. There was a 26 percent decline in criminal sexual penetration cases.

Hebbe was happy to see a decline in criminal sexual penetration cases and a decrease in the robbery crimes.

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Overall decline in property crimes in recent years

Property crimes, including residential burglaries, saw a 63 percent decline, commercial burglaries had a decrease of 51 percent and vehicle burglaries showed a 49 percent decline when comparing 2021 to a five-year average of 2016 to 2020.

One chart Farmington police included was the number of property crimes declining from 2017 to 2021. It showed 2,004 cases in 2017 that continued to decline into 2021 with 1,024 cases.

Hebbe noted while violent crime “scares people,” more residents are impacted by property crimes more than any other category.

The police chief did state he felt like there was no simple answer for the decline in property crimes.

He believed it was a possible combination of the work the department has done to target crime in certain areas, improving its relationship with area businesses to improve reporting of crimes and just a general decline in the number of people committing property crimes.

DWIs and crashes with injuries are still an area of concern

Hebbe noted that there was no real change in the number of vehicle crashes with injuries as the 383 crashes in 2021 were just a digit off from the 382 crashes complied in the five-year average.

DWIs just had a 2 percent decline when comparing the five-year average to 2021.

A table provided by the Farmington Police Department shows the statistics for other crime cases for 2016 through 2020, the average of those five years and 2021.

The data raised some concerns, after seeing an increase of DWI vehicle crashes with serious injuries last year.

“We continue to see that as a threat,” Hebbe said.

More:Farmington police see jump in serious injury vehicle crashes involving alcohol, speeding

Farmington police spent part of 2021 drawing attention to an increase in serious vehicle crashes from 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 that are being attributed to alcohol use and speeding.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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