Huff: Natchez crime down 13.6 percent in 2001

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2001

Crime in Natchez is down 13.6 percent during the first six months of 2001 as compared to the same time last year, Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said Friday.

I hope that this trend continues on,&uot; Huff said. &uot;It’s just a good start for a good year.&uot;

From January to June 2000, 732 Part I crimes – homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft – were reported to the Natchez Police Department.

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From January to June 2001 that number dropped to 632.

&uot;We’re proud of that especially with the year starting out like it did with a murder and a very serious robbery at the Piggly Wiggly,&uot; Huff said.

When comparing the first six months of 2000 and 2001, homicides stayed at one and robberies increased from 12 to 14. Crime decreased in all other categories with aggravated assaults – not including simple assaults – dropping from 18 to 16. Burglaries dropped from 108 to 90 and auto thefts dropped from 14 to 13.

Larcenies which include shoplifting, vehicle burglaries, gas drive-offs and grand larcenies dropped from 578 to 496.

It is difficult to give a reason for the drop but Huff thinks the handwork of the officers, measures such as the 85 percent truth-in-sentencing law and speedy trials are a factor.

&uot;It’s a well known fact that 90 percent of the crime is committed by 10 percent of the criminals,&uot; Huff said.

That means that getting a few key criminals off the street can decrease crime, Huff said.

The support of local residents is also a factor.

&uot;A lot of credit goes to the neighborhood watch programs and the citizen’s support that we’re getting,&uot; Huff said.

One concern to law enforcement is sexual assaults or rapes, which are often not reported. The Natchez Police Department had one report of rape during the first half of 2000 and two during the first half of 2001.

&uot;I just hope that those people who have been sexually assaulted report it to us so we can do something about it,&uot;&uot;Huff said.