Newport Beach crime rates reached new historic lows in 2014, according to information released by the Newport Beach Police Department.
Part One crimes, which include both violent crimes (such as Homicide, Rape, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault) and property crimes (Burglary, Larceny-Theft, Motor Vehicle Theft, and Arson), showed a decrease of 11.9 percent in 2014.
Newport Beach is one of the safest cities in the nation, with a very low volume of violent crime each year. Although 2014 showed a slight increase in this type of crime (six more than last year’s historic low of 84 incidents), violent crime was still 26.8 percent below the city’s five-year average.
Property Crimes decreased significantly in 2014, showing a reduction of 12.6 percent or 273 incidents. The largest decrease was in Larceny-Theft (which includes bike theft, mail theft, shoplifting, petty theft, grand theft, as well as burglaries and thefts from automobiles and boats), which had 169 fewer incidents than in 2013.
Reductions in Residential Burglaries (down 46 incidents), Garage Burglaries (down 33 incidents) and Commercial Burglaries (down 17 incidents) make up the remaining significant decreases in this area.
The Newport Beach Police Department believes that the specific causes behind increases and decreases in crime statistics can be difficult to pinpoint, but several factors contributed to the overall crime reduction in 2014.
The NBPD’s innovative “The Stolen Collection” advertising campaign increased public awareness of property crimes and crime prevention.
In March, the police department implemented a new integrated Computer Aided Dispatching and Records Management System, allowing dispatchers, field personnel, and investigators to work together more efficiently and effectively.
Since Chief Jay Johnson implemented the department’s CrimeStat model in 2012, staff from all areas of the Department meet on a monthly basis to review activity and crime trends, maintaining the Chief’s focus on teamwork and accountability to address issues in a timely, direct manner.
The addition of a Crime Suppression Unit has also allowed the flexibility and dedicated resources to address issues proactively before they significantly impact the community.
In 2014, NBPD expanded community outreach through the use of social media, reaching more than 4,300 Facebook fans and nearly 5,300 Twitter followers throughout the year.
NBPD also increased to more than 5,900 Nixle users (a system of sending alerts to the community), dramatically improving direct communication with the community on time-sensitive and emergent issues.
Other factors in decreasing the crime rate include Neighborhood Watch programs.
Chief Johnson said in a statement, “Crime prevention is a team sport. It takes collaboration of all the stakeholders working together to combat the criminal element that attempts to prey upon our beautiful community. These stakeholders include the Newport Beach Police Department, our city government, our elected officials, and most importantly, our community members, businesses, and visitors. Through collaboration and communication, I am proud to announce we have made incredible strides in crime reduction over the last few years, and we are committed to continuing these efforts in 2015.”