Editorial

Crime data encouraging, even though a small sample

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It's probably too small of a sample to officially call it a trend, but the crime numbers shared at a recent city council meeting by Cape Girardeau police chief Wes Blair are encouraging.

As reported by Mark Bliss, Blair told the council the city has seen a decline in serious crimes overall. Blair said total serious crimes in Cape Girardeau dropped nearly 11 percent for the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2017.

"I feel like we are making headway," Blair said, adding there has been a "dramatic reduction in firearms crimes."

Homicides are up, however, with five from January through June compared to the three from the same period a year ago.

According to Bliss' story:

* rape/sex offenses are down more than 66 percent

* strong-arm robberies have dropped by more than 58 percent

* robberies with firearms have declined by more than 38 percent

* assaults with firearms were down 32 percent

* assaults with knives or cutting instruments were down 71 percent

* motor vehicle thefts were down 11 percent

* assaults were down by 70 incidents from the same period last year

Crime rates have been a serious talking point for a number of years in Cape Girardeau, with many saying addressing crime should be the city's No. 1 priority. As we've stated before, it takes much more than a police force to combat crime; it takes preventative measures from childhood to seriously reduce the root of the problem. To that end, there are many local agencies and organizations chipping away at those causes, hitting everything from school absenteeism to graduations rates, from prayer to art and dance and more.

Certainly the police force has a primary role, and the department seems to be making a big difference as well.

Here's hoping these six-month figures are just the beginning of a downward spiral for serious crimes.

We tip our caps to all who are making a difference in their own ways to bring down crime in Cape.

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