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Wednesday, 10 October, 2007 8:48 PM
Larcenies are the biggest obstacles for the Livonia Police Department
Livonia’s latest crime report indicates some that crimes in the city have seen growth while others have seen reductions. The city is ranked as one the of the nation’s top safest cities with populations of 100,000 or more, according to the Morgan Quitno crime scale.
There was only one murder committed in 2006, no change from the year before.
The most repeated crime in the city of Livonia is larcenies. That occurs when people take CDs, laptops and cell phones from unlocked vehicles. It can be in the daytime or in the middle of the night. Another repeated crime in the city is frauds by credit card or with a check.
The latest crime report indicates there were 1,302 occurrences of larceny reported in 2006, compared with 1,250 reported cases in 2005, a 4 percent increase. There were 283 reported incidents of fraud compared with 268 a year before, a 6 percent hike.
Sgt. Greg Perttunen of the Livonia Police Department has some crime prevention tips for residents. “Keep the exterior house well lit. Lock doors and house. Call if you see something suspicious,” he said.
The second most repeated crime in the city is assault on another person. There was 453 reported occurrences in 2006 and 403 assaults reported in 2005, a 12 percent jump.
Burglary and home invasion are also on the rise. In 2006, there were 335 reported incidents compared with 282 a year earlier, an 19 percent climb.
The amount of crime in Livonia hasn’t changed much over the years, according to the sergeant. “Just changed because of what’s being stolen. It’s just gone to different avenues. I don’t think it has increased.”
The number of forcible sexual offenses in the city has gone up 74 percent. In 2006, there were 40 reported occurrences compared with only 23 a year before. Arsons increased by 60 percent over the two years. There were 16 reported incidents in 2006 and 10 in 2005.
Over the years, officers have had to change the way they investigate crimes. For example, an individual “may go in an open business. They’ll steal scrap metal, take it to a metal shop in Detroit and get money for it,” according to Perttunen.
In 2004, Livonia was ranked as the 11th safety city with a population over 100,000, according to the Morgan Quinto crime scale. Rankings are calculated by adding the total number of murders, robberies, rapes, assaults, burglaries and automotive thefts. That total is divided by the national average, which equals the crime ranking.
Several crimes within the city have made notable declines
The number of robberies (not including car jacking) has gone down by 66 percent. There were 16 reported cases in 2006 compared with 47 robberies in 2005. Another drop was reported in the number of kidnappings or abductions. In 2006, Livonia had three kidnappings compared with eight a year earlier. That is a decline of 63 percent.
The Livonia Police Department is currently understaffed, according to the sergeant. The police department needs 25 more officers for full coverage. “We’ll have six additional recruits in six months. Three more recruits in three months.”
Other crimes that have gone down include drug and narcotic violations. With 379 reported occurrences in 2006 compared with 386 cases a year before. Incidents of damage to property have also dropped. There were 382 reported cases in 2006 and 411 occurrences reported in 2005, a 7 percent decline.
More crimes are committed during the daytime than at night, Perttunen said. “There’s a lot of larcenies during the daytime because they blend in. It’s been that way for a long time. You don’t really stick out in the afternoon.”
The number of motor vehicle thefts in the city has gone down by 14 percent. In 2006, there were 205 reported cases compared with 239 a year earlier.
The sergeant said there are no unsafe areas of the city. However, he mentioned that residents should take extra precautions around the high shopping areas such as Laurel Park Place, The Haggerty Road corridor and at Livonia Mall. “People leave cars unlocked at night,” Perttunen said.
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