Although the crime of the decade did not occur in Davis, some crime took place in Davis in the past year. The Davis Police Department released the most recent Crime Quarterly Summary, which consists of cases from July to November of 2009.
The report found criminal activity has decreased compared to previous averages for the July through November quarter. Crimes such as sexual assaults, vehicle thefts and burglaries were fewer than previous quarterly averages. However, last quarter saw an increased number of automobile collisions and robberies.
During the three-month period there were 14 robberies, 19 sexual assaults, 27 vehicle thefts and 182 burglaries, which are broken down into vehicle (102 cases), residential (63 cases) and commercial (14 cases).
Two key findings of the report include 10 accounts of assault with a deadly weapon and seven cases of rape, an increase from previous years.
Additionally, there were no fatal collisions during the period, although 37 DUIs were issued – 24 fewer than the quarterly average for this period. The average age of DUI drivers was 22.5.
Overall Davis drivers received 1,058 vehicle citations – 21 percent bicycle related.
The report revealed details that West Davis, especially around Alvarado Ave., has a higher frequency of vehicle burglaries and vehicle thefts. Additionally, every sexual assault case reported involved alcohol.
Deanne Machado, a crime analyst for the Davis Police Department, compiled these statistics by running a query through all the cases on record during the three-month period.
“These numbers don’t show anything abnormal when compared to 2007 and 2008. The trends being tracked are not alarming and there are no unusual spikes in the data,” Machado said.
Machado added that the quarterly average is compiled mainly to give the community information regarding their safety.
The Crime Quarterly Summary omits some crimes because they are hard to represent in these statistics.
“Crimes like identity theft are harder to realistically represent in these statistics, since they would be disproportional to how they are occurring. This can lead to wrong conclusions,” Machado said.
Sgt. Thomas Waltz, who has worked for the Davis Police Department for 17 years, said Davis has issues similar to most cities, like paroles and sex registrants. He also said there is a correlation between UC Davis and the city.
“In my experience, the amount of crime in Davis is affected by the student population in the seasonal school year. I’ve noticed an increased amount of patrons easily results in increased crime,” Waltz said.
However, UC Davis students do not significantly impact the majority of the crimes reported, Waltz said.
“This recent crime summary is not surprising or shocking when considering that Davis is not exactly ‘Happyville.’ Generally speaking, Davis is a very safe town, but it is always good to lock your doors, bikes and cars,” Waltz said. “Being aware of little things, like not leaving items in the car, which is a common cause of vehicle burglary, helps reduce the chance of crime.”
Following the same method as the FBI, the Davis Police Department compiled the quarterly report with the standards of the Uniform Crime Report. Practicing this technique, the most frequent and consistent crimes are included, as well as the most violent and significant in affecting the community.
On Dec. 21, the FBI released a preliminary report, “Crime in the United States: January through June of 2009.” In this study, they found an overall decrease in crime throughout all law enforcement agencies in the U.S., a trend shared by the recent summary in Davis.
Nonetheless, the FBI said to use this data with discretion in order to avoid judging a city solely on one report’s information.
MICHAEL STEPANOV can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.