Indy sees drop in crime stats

INDEPENDENCE -- Independence Police Department made 837 arrests and solved 32 percent of its serious violent or theft crimes in 2011.



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Vern Wells

INDEPENDENCE -- Independence Police Department made 837 arrests and solved 32 percent of its serious violent or theft crimes in 2011.

It also made 311 referrals for youth offenders to the Polk County Juvenile Department.

Those are among the results shown in a recently-published summary of arrests, citations and other statistics for 2011.

There were 9,694 "events" -- recorded contacts with officers or complaints that aren't considered cases -- last year. That's 500 fewer events than 2010 and almost 1,000 less than in 2009, according to the report.

The amount of actual cases -- incidents that warrant a police report -- and warnings have fallen, said Police Chief Vern Wells.

"As we have fewer officers now, we have fewer cases," Wells said.

Arrest numbers have risen by nearly 200 since 2009. Citations were also up, 942 in 2011 compared to 839 the prior year. Gang and gang graffiti cases have fallen during the same two-year period.

"I would say, all in all, we still have a pretty safe city," Wells said. "About 9 percent of all our arrests are person-on-person and weapons crimes ... that's across the board for adults and juveniles."

About 20 percent of juvenile referrals last year were related to property crimes. Fifteen percent were runaway cases, 9 percent were drug crimes and another 9 percent were person-on-person crimes.

Case clearance rates -- the percentage of cases that are solved and closed -- were 32 percent for serious violent or theft crimes.

The clearance rate for lower level incidents such as disorderly conduct, drug offenses and vandalism was 70 percent.

Just the Facts

2011 Independence Police Department crime statistics:

* Available hours of patrol per resident is 2.91 hours. (That's population divided by the average number of work hours for an officer.)

* Crimes per 1,000 residents is 105 per 1,000.

* Average number of sex crime cases reported in Central School District 2009-11 -- 15.

* Number of thefts and identity thefts -- 171

* Number of assault cases in 2011 -- 60

* Number of DUIIs -- 34

* Number of rape cases -- 4

* Number of bar fights -- 1



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