update: Here is Sunday’s PW Extra, it basically mirrors what Anti has been saying.

The Prince William County Police Department released their Annual Crime Statistics Report for 2008; it shows that for the first time in 5 years the overall crime rate has increased. The above chart perhaps demonstrates it best; it shows increasing population from 2004 through the present with a decreasing crime rate UNTIL 2007, after which where the crime rate actually INCREASES. The notion that we were experiencing a crime wave due to an “invasion of illegals” is clearly dispelled by the graph.

The crime rate, which is a percentage of the total number of crimes per population, in Prince William County had been consistently decreasing over the past 4 years even during the time period that our immigrant population was increasing. Prince William’s overall crime rate — the number of crimes per 1,000 residents — dropped from 24.5 to 22.8 in 2005, from 22.8 to 21.6 in 2006, from 21.6 to 19.8 in 2007, then in 2008 we experience a 3% increase with an overall crime rate of 20.1.

Of note, the main drop in violent crimes did not originate with a drop in rapes or murders but rather ‘Aggravated Assaults’. The drop in this particularly category alone was 36.5%. On page 5 of the report, it states that it is possible that some of the reduction in reported crime may be due to a lower reporting rate among minority groups.

Chairman Stewart suggests this decrease in violent crimes is attibutable to the County’s implementation of the “Immigration Resolution” when in fact the reason for the drop of Aggravated Assaults is unknown. Stewart’s assertion that the ‘crackdown’ is working because of a drop in one particular area is patently ABSURD. Why wouldn’t we see drops in other areas as well? Why are the decreases mainly seen just in this one classification? Could it be that domestic violence issues are now going unreported?

Other facts contained within the report include:

  • violent crime represents a small portion of the total crime in the County, with crimes against property accounting for the bulk of the total crime.
  • most frequently committed crime by ‘illegal’ aliens – driving without a drivers’ license.
  • Crimes Against Persons rates have dropped due to lower numbers of ‘Aggravated Assault’
  • the number of murders increased by 20% with 0% being committed by ‘illegal’ aliens
  • the number of rapes remained the same with 4% being committed by ‘illegal’ aliens
  • 3% of the total persons arrested are illegal aliens
  • 86.9% of illegal aliens arrested were for misdeamenor or traffic charges

84 Thoughts to “Prince William County Crime Rate Increases”

  1. Moon-howler

    Thoughtful insight, NoVA Scout. You concisely said what so many of us have been thinking. Corey should realize he has been duped and that he cannot continue to ride that one legged pig around town.

    I continually read that we are always critical of Corey or that we pick on him, won’t give the guy an even break. I would gladly find something good to say about him if he would just quit shooting himself in the foot. He needs to first of all stop trying to establish a cause and effect relationship between the crime rate and illegal immigration. When he stops using that as his stump, then perhaps the people here will start looking at the good things about Corey, because there are some.

    He continues to hang out and around the illegal immigration crowd. Those people are not his only constituents. He must not realize that. The illegal immigration diatribe he goes on will not be his friend in the long run.

  2. NoVA Scout

    I don’t think he was duped, MH. He was the dupor, not the dupee. I think he duped the types who vent on Greg’s site and he duped the community as a whole. He knew this was an issue of high emotional content that could be harnessed into votes. He did and said what he had to to advance himself. He can’t extricate himself from this without admitting to cynical opportunism.

    There’s no salvaging this kind of thing. It’s a matter of character, stewardship, service, and violation of the public trust.

  3. ShellyB

    Wow, NoVA Scout for Chairman!

    And M-H, also dead right saying of Corey:

    He needs to first of all stop trying to establish a cause and effect relationship between the crime rate and illegal immigration.

    I would add that it’s additionally low minded of Corey Stewart to establish such a cause and effect when he has demonstrated time and time again that he equates Latino people and the Spanish language with “illegal” this and that. He played into that stereotype by pandering to voters who believed it, and he made it worse by slandering Latino and Spanish speaking people with the implication that they are all criminals. This is the easiest and most basic way to capitalize on discrimination for political purposes. It’s as old as Reconstruction.

  4. ShellyB

    WHWN, to play devils advocate, someone like Michael could very well say there is some truth to the perception that guns kill people. It’s not all perception! And if all the guns were taken off the streets, a lot of people who are dead today would NOT be dead.

    And, if gun show guns are all you are protecting, then I’m sure Michael could come up with statistics to show that X amount of people were killed by gun show guns. And THEY would not be dead if those guns were off the streets either.

  5. Elena

    I have to say Shelly B, that is a powerful analogy.@ShellyB

  6. I’m fully aware of that, Shelly. That’s why I wrote that 2% of crimes involving firearms (not necessarily murders, but crimes) involve firearms that can be traced to gun shows. If lawmakers and the general public could be made to panic over such a percentage, I suppose that bill would be a law. But my point was that, if public safety is truly the concern, then money and political capital are better spent on more effective and more necessary legislation.

  7. NoVA Scout

    WHWN makes the obvious, but all to frequently ignored point that when someone tells the citizenry that there is a huge problem that requires a lot of money to be thrown around, get out your calculators, green eye shades, google searches, almanacs and start poring over the numbers. Exactly what is the problem, how much damage is it doing, and how much will it cost to fix it. Those are the questions that have to get answered even before the political debate leaves the ground. The craziness of the RE-Elect Stewart/Stirrup Resolution was that the economic impact of illegal immigrant crime was far, far less than the monetary (let alone all the non-monetary) costs of the proposed solutions. While there’s a lot of charlatan-ry that goes with political labels in Virginia (and elsewhere), an additional madness is that the reaction to 2I in PWC was decidedly un-“conservative” despite the fact that the major inciters were self-described “conservatives.” Whether viewed fiscally or constitutionally, the measures pushed to address a very ill-defined problem were decidedly reckless and not in any way related to political conservatism.

  8. Witness Too

    I agree NoVA Scout. The so-called Conservatives were downright radical extremist in voting to do something so costly and potentially dangerous without taking the time to research the cost and the consequences. I loved how they passed the Resolution first and then told us how much it would cost 2 months later. Actually I didn’t love that. We need leaders who put good government before politics, year round, even during election season. Otherwise, this is what we get. Rising crime and rising taxes, falling property values and poor reputation.

  9. ShellyB

    Looking at the new thread with the school enrollment statistics also sheds a light on things. If the intention of the Immigration Resolution was to reduce the number of Hispanics (who are assumed to be undocumented), it really didn’t make a dent at all, if the school enrollment numbers are any indication. There really wasn’t much of a change in our Hispanic (and assumed to be undocumented) population in 2008. So then how can Greg and Corey claim that less robberies and less reported cases of assault is due to the Immigration Resolution.

    More likely, the same ethnic breakdown exists now as it did before, but minorities are not reporting crimes as often due to lack of trust in the police.

    I’m not sure who’s explanation to accept as to why our crime rate has gone up over all (when you don’t single out the two categories that went down). But it does make sense that the police had to focus on a lot of hullabaloo besides public safety thanks to the Immigration Resolution and all the trainings and re-trainings, plus the controversy.

  10. ShellyB

    Funny how Gospel Greg and Crackdown Corey didn’t offer any explanation AT ALL as to why our crime rate went up for the first time in seven years in the very year their immigration crackdown went into effect.

  11. Elena

    Maybe someone else has a different take who read the PW Extra section, but Corey did NOT give credit to the resolution, but to the police force, doing a great job that reduced the number of aggravated assaults and robberies.

  12. ShellyB

    Elena, you’re right. I hadn’t seen the article but I just read it now. It’s a really well written and fair article.

    I’m glad that Corey has ratcheted down his rhetoric, at least in the part of his statement that was quoted:

    In a statement, Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) said the new policy — in addition to good police work and the number of officers on the street — was related to the decline in violent crime.

    Here’s the link if there are others who missed it.

    A lot of my anger was based on what I saw on the Gospel Greg blog, and Corey didn’t write that. Sometimes I lump Corey in with Greg and the crazies and that isn’t fair.

    I’d like to see the rest of his statement. It’s possible the reporter quoted the only part that was not offensive.

  13. Lucky Duck

    Mr. Stewart attributed the credit to the police department that has “more officers on the street”. This is an outright fabrication. The “more officers on the street” numbers are like squeezing a water balloon.

    The department lost six officers from patrol squads to fill the Criminal Alien Unit. Those slots were never refilled in uniformed police. There was supposed to be an academy class started in January of 2009 but because of budget cuts, that class was cancelled and no decision has yet been released about the scheduled July, 2009 academy class. So the department is NOT keeping up with the scheduled increase in staffing because of Mr. Stewart’s budget cuts.

    So we now have a higher crime rate in some areas and less uniformed officers to respond today than the county was supposed to have and in fact, on some patrol shifts, less officers than they had a year ago.

    Nice job Mr. Stewart.

  14. Lucky Duck, I had understood the Criminal Alien Unit to be additional officers funded by the $14,000,000 emergency funding allocation in the fall of ’07. As far as I know, the public was never informed we’d have to have officers taken off the street to do this. Is that really true?

    And, are you saying you are sorry we implemented the Criminal Alien Unit, or just that Stewart is using slight of hand to imply his tenure as Chairman has seen an increase in force levels? I had thought the Criminal Alien Unit was doing us some good.

    Also, how do you account for the drop in robbery and assault? Chief Deane often says that immigrants are more often targets than perpetrators of these crimes, and, that the fall off can be attributed to the continued success of the robbery unit focusing on areas where such crimes are known to occur. Greg Letiecq has a different explanation as you might imagine. What is your judgment?

  15. Lucky Duck

    No, I am not sorry about the creation of the Criminal Alien Unit. They do a specific task that I support – using 287(G) and investigating crimes involving illegal immigrants. But there is a choice made about allocation of resources.

    I am more upset about the cancellation of the January 20009 academy class. It takes 10 months from the week an academy begins until those officers are released to answer calls for service. They will be behind in planned staffing for years to come. That happened in the early to mid 90’s and it took years to catch up.

    Chief Deane is correct. A large portion of victims of robbery and assaults were Hispanic. Well, less Hispanics, less victims from that category. Plus, in a lot of the robbery cases, its the same individual(s) doing the act. They become aware they are being followed or observed or targeted by special units and they lay low or move on to other areas.

  16. Elena, you are kind to defend Corey Stewart. I’m not quite in the mood to go that far, but of course it’s true there is daylight between him and Greg Leteicq. I rather regret the fact that we will forever be forced to scrutinize that daylight … its width, its depth, and whether its setting or rising once again.

  17. Thanks for the insights Lucky Duck. I too am concerned about the loss of an entire academy class. Indeed, money could have been better spent if public safety were truly the goal.

  18. Moon-howler

    I thought that the BOCS promised the police dept whatever they needed to make up for those taken off the regular force and put into the special criminal alien unit? Did I dream this? Please tell me I don’t have to go listen to all the bocs meetings…again.

    I don’t think that Corey Stewart analyzes any of this. He simply reacts to the political wind blowing on a given day. He knows he has to turn down the volume on his 20% crime reduction because some of us on Anti will simply go around and call him a liar on it and back those words up with facts.

    From March 2008 through the end of the year, 1.7 percent of the people arrested or given a summons were illegal immigrants, the report states. In addition, 86.9 percent of those “suspected to be illegal aliens were arrested on misdemeanor or traffic charges,” and 9 percent were arrested on felony charges.

    The raw data we are looking at is a far cry from what Corey has gone around the countryside bragging about. Come to think of it, ‘Point of Order’ himself went to some little group and got caught on tape perpetuating the same myth.

    Sadly, I don’t think either one of them cares about accuracy or the county. They just want to advance themselves as conservatives in the Republican party. They don’t even want to be mainstream, I don’t think.

  19. Lucky Duck

    Just as big a concern is the fact that the fire department will lose their July ’09 class for certain. In addition, their staffing plan drafted after the death of a firefighter in 2007 has not and will not be implemented. So just remember, if you own a large house that was built in the last 7 to 10 years, if it catches fire, the fire units that respond will not have the proper staffing for the size of your home.

    That was the most critical point made in the investigation report of the line of duty death. If I was a firefighter and something happened, I’d make sure my family had a lawyer. Then you’d see the County spend some money. Money that should have been spent if public safety was truly the goal Mr. Stewart claims it to be.

  20. M-H, there is no question Stewart and Stirrup have both abandoned the mainstream. Stirrup, though, was never in the mainstream to begin with, and, he has reason to hope that his district will reward ideological extremism for another term, maybe two.

    Stewart is facing another challenge entirely. Whether he runs for Chairman again, or runs for higher office, his recent shift to extremism is no longer viable.

    Yesterday’s ouster of Jeff Frederick as RPV chair may well mean that Republican candidates in Virginia will soon be forced into the mainstream, either by a more moderate nominating convention, or by a primary process that would naturally select the more viable candidate: translation mainstream not extreme.

    Stewart will be walking a tightrope in coming years. No one likes to admit mistakes. But if he gets the right advice, he may indeed own up to his failure of leadership in 2007 and 2008, and seek to become a new kind of Virginia Republican … one that can not only admit past mistakes, but lead the way for those with the courage to forge new trails and new coalitoins as public opinion and demographics evolve.

    If he gets the wrong advice, of course he will cling to the narrow base in Gainesville that still supports him with religious fanaticism. But this would limit his political aspirations to county government … with a possible 2011 expiration date … unless he wants to move to Gainesville.

  21. Elena

    Do you know what I found out today! That a police officer had to make a choice between drunk teenaged trespasser and a man high on PCP. Know why he had to make a choice????? I’ll tell you, he had to make a choice because there are NOT enough police officers able to respond.

  22. Lucky Duck, you are going to make a grown man cry if you continue illustrating the long term public safety impact of our collective malfeasance (I say “our” because Elena’s got me feeling guilty right now).

    It’s easy to blame John Stirrup and Corey Stewart, but we as citizens are responsible for participating in government, and we failed to do that. We got complacent, we got distracted, and we let a band of zealots beat us to the punch.

    I myself heard warnings of “unintended consequences” from people like Chief Deane and Marty Nohe. I might have made a difference if I’d taken the time to fully understand those consequences, and if I’d taken a stand. But I remained neutral because I didn’t feel I knew enough about immigration and federal law enforcement, because I didn’t have time to research it, and, worst of all, because I didn’t think my chances of success were worth the effort.

    I do find some solace in the fact that I played a behind-the-scenes role in amending the policy to escape a series of costly racial profiling law suits. But as for sitting on the sidelines in 2007, I’ll regret it to my dying day.

  23. Elena

    Honestly, I happen to have met a very well respected person, involved in protecting the public and this person told me, for the first time, during the October vote, in 2007, they felt like they were on the wrong side. It was clear, from the beginning, the October vote was decided long before they Board Supervisors sat in their chairs. Looking back, standing up against the original resolution was a futile excerise in free speech, but it made no difference.

  24. Witness Too

    Lucky Duck, is there anything that can be done to save the fire fighter’s budget? We have till the end of the month don’t we? Would the vote be even close if one of the Supervisors went to bat for it?

  25. Elena

    Great question Witness too for Lucky Duck.

  26. Elena

    That is why a supervisor, when John Stirrup first proposed the immigration resolution, described it as an “ambush”. @WhyHereWhyNow

  27. Moon-howler

    Not only were the other supervisors ambushed, so were the residents of PWC.

    There is a new breed of cat living in Gainesville now. ‘Point of Order’ will have to run for his life because the old, unilluminated ways will not work for the newcomers who have moved into Gainesville District. Loudoun County is a good example of the new type of homeowner that Mr. Stirrup will have to be wooing. They are educated and do not want to be labeled as backwards and provincial.

    Lucky Duck, I almost brought up the firefighters but it just made me too sad. They were promised a new way of doing things and once everyone was up off their knees at the funeral, those promises were soon forgotten. I listened to that report. How can any of those supervisors not live up to the promises made?

  28. Witness Too

    Stirrup really described it as an ambush?!? That’s really chilling, because that’s what it felt like. So they planned it that way? Chills me to the bone to think that an elected official would conduct county policy that way, and that our Chairman would allow it.

    But but but, if it was supposed to be an ambush, why the long lag time between passing the Resolution and funding it?

  29. Witness Too

    M-H, is it too late for the fire fighters?

  30. Elena

    No Stirrup did not describe it as an ambush. Another County Supervisor did. It was a private conversation so I will not divulge which one.

  31. Moon-howler

    Witness, I believe it is too late. The tax rate cannot go about its advertised rate.

  32. Elena

    Apparently some people on the dark screen are bothered that I “pick and choose” what I divulge regarding to my conversations with Board members. I wonder, why are they assuming that Corey would want to be seen as a closed government. Personally, I think Corey demonstrated that even though we had a rift over immigration, he was still willing to reach out to me in regards to land use. I wonder, are they just angry that he hasn’t shown the level of personal hatred towards me that many on the dark screen have?

  33. Moon-howler

    I think you are on to something, Elena. Or perhaps they are jealous they weren’t asked to be on a committee? Green-eyed Monsters all over the place on that one.

    How many times have you publically stated that you like Corey, you just don’t like what Corey has done?

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