In 2012, Birmingham Police Make More Arrests, Larceny Still the Top Crime
This week, the Birmingham Police Department released its 2012 Annual Crime Report, breaking down crime across the city during the past year.
There were more arrests, fewer 911 calls and in 2012, Birmingham experienced its first homicide investigation in at least three years.
That is only a small look at Birmingham's year in crime, according to the 2012 Annual Crime Report released earlier this week by the Birmingham Police Department.
Released every winter, Birmingham's annual crime report breaks down crime across the city while looking at personnel trends as well as the demographics of who's arrested in Birmingham and when.
While crime in Birmingham remained steady in 2012 — with a few ups and downs consistent with crime trends going back three years — police noted a noticeable jump in arrests for assault and drunk driving, fewer vandalism cases and a 600 percent increase in the number of forgery and counterfeiting cases.
Personnel costs expected to increase due to expanded dispatch services
The Birmingham Police Department made several major structural changes in 2012. Though the number of sworn officers stayed the same (29), the department renovated its dispatch center and began providing dispatch services to the Village of Beverly Hills — a move that saved both communities up to 40 percent of the cost of replacing their dispatch equipment.
In total, the city of Birmingham paid $110,000 to replace its 911 equipment, upgrade video equipment and install a new workstation. The money came out of the city's federal drug forfeiture funds.
According to Police Chief Don Studt, providing dispatch services for Beverly Hills will force personnel costs to go up during the next few years. Birmingham currently employs six full-time and three part-time dispatchers, according to the report.
Five things you need to know about the 2012 Annual Crime Report
- More arrests, fewer police runs: In 2012, Birmingham police responded to 16,571 calls for service — down from 16,983 in 2011 and 17,713 in 2010. Meanwhile, there were 395 arrests in 2012, up from 278 in 2011 and 384 in 2010.
- The most popular crime is...: In 2012, more people were arrested for larceny in Birmingham than any other crime. Larceny is a form of theft different from burglary (which usually involves breaking into a home or business) or robbery (in which the victim is present). Other 2012 criminal offenses (broken down by category) include:
|Criminal Sexual Conduct I, III||2||2||3|
|Operating While Impaired||61||43||52|
|Forgery / Counterfeiting||7||1||1|
- Maybe it's all that eggnog: Breaking from trends, more arrests happened in December 2012 than any other month, with 38 total arrests. Following that was August (35) then June and May (33). Based on three-year averages, there are usually more arrests in the spring and summer.
- Accidents decrease, death rates double: There were 37 fewer car accidents in 2012, however two people died during those accidents. In 2011 and 2010, Birmingham only reported one death per year due to car accidents.
- Fewer parking tickets is a good thing, right?: Birmingham police wrote 30,182 parking tickets in 2012 — down from 31,844 in 2011. Plus, police wrote more than 1,800 fewer tickets for meter violations, meaning more people were diligant when it came to properly feeding their meter.
All information is provided by the Birmingham Police Department's 2012 Annual Report.
Do you think crime is a problem in Birmingham? Where do you think the city can improve?