Crime, arrests fell in 2009

Published 8:39 am Friday, May 7, 2010

FRANKLIN—Fewer crimes were committed and fewer arrests made in Western Tidewater during 2009, according to data in an annual State Police report released Thursday.

The “Crime in Virginia” report, compiled by the Uniform Crime Reporting Section, said the number of criminal incidents and the number of adult arrests fell in Isle of Wight and Southampton counties and the City of Franklin compared with 2008.

Serious crimes — including murder, robbery, burglary and sex offenses — fell nearly 21 percent in Franklin, 9 percent in Southampton and a little more than 1 percent in Isle of Wight.

The number of serious crimes reported in Isle of Wight was 1,297, Franklin had 1,134 and 807 took place in Southampton.

According to the report, the most committed serious crime in Franklin during both 2008 and 2009 was larceny, with 367 incidents occurring in 2008 and 282 in 2009, a decrease of 23 percent. Franklin’s second-highest serious crime in 2008 was vandalism — with 299 incidents reported — but simple assault took the No. 2 spot in 2009, with 227 incidents. However, both vandalism and simple assault fell in the city, by 34 and 12 percent, respectively.

In Isle of Wight, simple assault was the most committed serious crime in 2008 — with 356 incidents reported — but it fell to the second-highest serious crime the following year, when there were 299 incidents, a decline of 16 percent. Larceny became the top serious crime in Isle of Wight in 2009, with 318 incidents reported. There were eight fewer larcenies in 2008, so that crime increased by 2.5 percent.

Southampton’s top serious crime was larceny in 2008 with 260 incidents, and simple assault in 2009 with 206 incidents. Larceny decreased almost 29 percent, but simple assault went up 18 percent.

There were few murders committed in the area. In 2008, Isle of Wight reported two and Southampton had one, but Franklin didn’t have any. One year later, there were three in Southampton, one in Franklin and none in Isle of Wight.

Motor vehicle theft, which is considered a less serious crime, dropped considerably in Franklin. The city had 26 thefts in 2008 and 11 in 2009, a decrease of 57.6 percent.

Counterfeiting and forgery crimes went up in all three localities but more than doubled in Franklin and Southampton. The city total went from 16 to 40, while the county went from six to 13.