Vehicular Crime Way Up, Other Crimes Down
Crime statistics indicate a marked increase in the local number of vehicle-related crimes in 2018, compared to 2017, including vehicle theft, and especially the theft of items from within vehicles.
But while there were major increases in such categories, there also were significant decreases in other types of crime, notably burglaries and larcenies.
The voluminous crime statistics kept by Newtown police are incorporated into the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), a compilation of crime data that includes arrest information from law enforcement agencies across the US. In the NIBRS format, 49 offenses are grouped into 23 crime categories. NIBRS data includes crimes against persons, against property, and against society.
According to crime statistics provided by town police, in 2018, there were 15 confirmed cases of motor vehicle theft, compared to seven such thefts during 2017.
Police have repeatedly urged residents to keep their vehicles locked when unattended.
The NIBRS statistics show that incidents involving the theft of valuables from within vehicles skyrocketed, with 46 incidents reported in 2018, compared to eight incidents in 2017.
Other property-related crimes decreased in 2018, compared to 2017.
The NIBRS statistics show a drop in drunken driving incidents on local roads in 2018, with 63 such cases reported, compared to 79 incidents in 2017. In 2016, there were 54 such cases, with 70 incidents in 2015. These statistics do not include DUI arrests made by state police, who patrol Interstate 84 and make a significant number of such arrests there.
Police Chief James Viadero, who assumed command of the town police department in January 2016, offered some comments February 6 on the crime statistics.
“It came as no surprise, just like other towns and cities in Connecticut, motor vehicle theft, and [thefts] from vehicles, spiked. We have been successful in making arrests in these property crimes.”
“I still would like to praise our officers efforts during the past year. Newtown was named the second safest town/city in the state, leading all of... Fairfield County. This is definitely a reflection of the work being done out in the field. Our officers are a visible deterrent in the community, and their response times to events is noteworthy,” the chief commented.
“Our community (members) also should receive recognition for their part in making Newtown safe. The calls we receive of suspicious activity, or that of something that doesn’t seem right, are also a integral prong in preventing crime and keeping the community safe,” the chief said.
“If you see something, say something,” Chief Viadero stressed.
For the full length article, see the February 8, 2019 print edition of the paper. Subscribe at, or purchase at local selling points.
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