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JPD Sees Increase In Violent Crime, We Break Down The Numbers - KOAM TV 7

JPD Sees Increase In Violent Crime, We Break Down The Numbers

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     The Joplin Police Department has released its 2017 performance report.
The numbers sound hard.
Captain Trevor Duncan, Joplin Police Department: "Homicide was, went up from 2 to 3, which equals a 100% increase,  and then we also saw sexual assault and assaults take a significant increase."
But, they can be deceiving that one extra homicide -- a 100% increase.
Then comes the violent crime - a 12% increase.
Captain Trevor Duncan with the Joplin Police Department says even that, isn't necessarily as bad as it sounds.
Duncan: "With our violent crime a vast majority of those crimes we see are known acquaintances, they are not random acts of violence."
So here we can break down the numbers.
As Captain Duncan mentioned, a 12% increase in violent crimes - that includes assault, homicide, sexual assault, and robbery.
The larger category - property crimes, saw a 2% decrease.
Additionally, Captain Duncan is concerned about response times.
The department - responding to around 84,000 total calls last year - a 4.5% increase - 
but those extra calls means it's taking them longer to get to those calls - 17 minutes in 2016 - a jump to 23 minutes in 2017.
Duncan: "We don't like the fact that those times are increasing gradually, but we do recognize less people to go to those calls, the amount of calls doesn't change, just because we have less people, the amount of time it takes us to get there will increase."
Duncan says there are easy steps to keep yourself safe.
Duncan: "We really recommend residents do what we call 'target hardening' where they look around their residence and determine what they can do to reduce the chances of them becoming a victim, you know, big thing is at night make sure, and even during the day really, make sure that your doors are locked, make sure that your garage door doesn't get left open overnight, lock your vehicles take your valuables inside, do everything you can to reduce your own chances of being a victim, make it less appealing for someone to victimize you."
     Captain Duncan also told us the department's busiest time for property crime is during the holiday shopping season.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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