ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Albemarle County Police Department says it has seen an increase in some crimes during Governor Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order.
In a message to the community Monday, May 18, ACPD Chief Ron Lantz says property crimes were up 31% in April, compared to a five-year average of the same time frame. Authorities say this is due to larcenies from sheds and properties.
Trespassing incidents increased more than 40% between March 1 and May 2, compared to a three-year average of the same time.
The Albemarle County Police Department got 31% more domestic violence calls between January and May, as well. The department also received 37% more calls during the stay-at-home order’s time period.
05/18/2020 Albemarle County Police Department’s Community Update:
As our community moves into the first phase of the Forward Virginia plan, we would like to provide information on how new restrictions will be enforced, updates on Albemarle County Police procedures, and insight on crime trends that Albemarle County has encountered over the past several weeks.
Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order (EO) 61 is now in effect. This first phase will allow for the opening of non-essential retail stores, restaurant patios, and outdoor fitness activities, to name a few, with restrictions and guidelines to ensure public health is considered. The specifics of EO 61 can be found here. We strongly encourage everyone to review these new regulations, as well as these guidelines developed by the Governor’s office.
If you choose to visit businesses over the coming days and see something that concerns you, please call the Thomas Jefferson Health District’s hotline, 434-972-6261. TJHD will work with ACPD and our regional partners to educate local businesses of the guidelines set forth by EO 61. ACPD is working with our officers to ensure our team understands the guidelines and can educate residents and businesses in the field.
As a department, we too will be transitioning during these upcoming phases. While our lobby remains closed during Phase I, our officers will still be out doing the job they’ve sworn to do, our phone lines will remain open, and we will continue to respond to calls. Officers will be donning cloth face coverings while out in the field to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 – we'd appreciate it if you would join us in taking this important step to protect our community.
We understand the community’s interest in understanding how the Stay at Home order influenced crime, so below is a little insight on crime trends in our area. To offer context, we review current data against past years’ weighted average during the same time frame. Reviewing against averages can offer context for the current activity and, if a trend is noted, it may create direction in operation, policy, and sometimes law.
- Property crime increased 31% in April 2020, as compared to a 5-year average of the same time period. This can be attributed to larcenies from sheds and properties.
- Trespassing incidents increased over 40% between March 1, 2020 – May 2, 2020, as compared to the 3-year average of the same time period.
- Disorder incidents decreased 8% between March 1, 2020 – May 2, 2020, as compared to the 3-year average of the same time period.
- Domestic violence calls for service between January 2020 – May 2020 were 31% higher when compared to a 3-year average of the same time. A similar increase of 37% can be seen when comparing the number of calls during just the Stay at Home order time period (March 1, 2020 – May 2, 2020) to a 3-year average of the same time.
Crime and incidents will trend in different directions as our community transitions from phase to phase. Be mindful of increased car, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on our roadways and follow all traffic laws. Don’t trespass; respect private property and closed public spaces.
As we move through these coming months, let’s get through this together. Be considerate of your neighbors and courteous to the employees in stores, restaurants, and other businesses who are working hard for our community. Take care of one another and be safe.
Ron L. Lantz
Chief of Police