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Columbia 2014 crime report shows some crime up, some down

The annual Columbia Uniform Crime Report shows crime was up in some areas — as much as double — while other areas fell in 2014.

The report data said violent crimes overall were slightly down from 416 in 2013 to 410 in 2014. Within that category, homicides stayed consistent with 5 for the year, and forcible rapes fell slightly. However, robberies increased slightly and Police Chief Ken Burton said he’s not exactly sure why.

“I thought we had whipped that but with such a transient population with students leaving for an extended period of time like holidays, summer…it creates opportunities other communities don’t have,” Burton explained.

Property crimes were down 4% overall. Within them, larcenies also fell 4%. Burton said he credits a little help from the 21st century.

“We’ve been using Facebook and Twitter to tell people to lock their car and take their computer in the house and I think they’re listening,” he said. “Maybe that’s it.”

However, burglaries were up in that category.

“We’re continuing to work on it and do burglary patrol to address it but it’s a moving target and when we put heat on one area, they’ll just move to a different neighborhood,” Burton said.

The most significant difference on the list was arson. Arson increased by almost twice as much as 2013. Burton said he’s not sure why this increased so dramatically, but explained that all crime will continue to rise and fall. He also said police will continue to work on reducing all of these numbers, but don’t have a specific plan to do so.

“We’re going to look at what we tried that worked and what didn’t work and stop doing those but it’s not a finite business,” Burton explained.

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