The NC State Bureau of Investigation recently released the 2010 annual crime report for North Carolina. A review of reported crime data between 2006 and 2010 reflects a 30% reduction in UCR Part 1 Index crime for Buncombe County. UCR Part 1 Index crime includes the offenses of Murder, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny and Motor Vehicle Theft.
Sheriff Duncan states “while there is certainly a national trend of reduction in overall crime, a reduction of thirty percent is above the norm. We believe that we have made a direct impact on the numbers through various strategies we have implemented at the sheriff’s office.”
Duncan cited the following strategies:
- Increased patrol coverage - We have increased the numbers of uniformed patrol officers since 2006. We believe this increased presence has reduced response times and provided a deterrent effect thereby reducing the numbers of crimes committed.
- Higher Case Clearance by Criminal Investigations - The majority of crime is committed by a small percentage of the population. Identifying, arresting and prosecuting offenders who are responsible for the majority of the crime reduces the opportunity for those crimes to be committed.
- Jail Population Management - Working diligently to manage the jail population through diversion programs such as Women At Risk and Buncombe County Drug Court follow up case management, we have been able to reduce the rate of recidivism, or relapse into criminal behavior. Substance abuse is a leading contributor for many offenders. If we can reduce the rate of substance abuse among current offenders by connecting them with treatment programs and follow up case management, we can effectively reduce the probability that they will re-offend.
We are excited about the direction we are heading in at the Sheriff’s Office and believe that through comprehensive strategies, we can continue to make Buncombe County a safer place to live.