Assaults, larceny, drug violations rise in 2021

Published 6:36 pm Monday, July 11, 2022

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By James W. Robinson

Contributing Writer

Assaults, larceny and drug violations were the most common criminal offenses reported in the city of Suffolk during 2021.

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According to the Crime in Virginia report from the Virginia State Police, there were six counts of murder last year, an increase when compared to 2020. The report, on the website on the VSP CJIS Data Analysis and Reporting Team page, provides the rates and occurrences of crimes committed in cities and counties across the Commonwealth.

The data shows that Suffolk saw crime increases in some areas, with numbers in other areas falling compared to 2020. The Crime in Virginia report at breaks down the local offenses into four sections – crimes against person, crimes against property, crimes against society, and violent crimes.

Crimes against persons rose from 2,025 in 2020 to 2,228 last year. Many rates such as murder, forcible fondling, and intimidation increased, with murder doubling from three to six, forcible fonding up from 53 to 75 and intimidation rising from 95 to 116. Some criminal activity, such as forcible rape and human trafficking, saw a reappearance in 2021 with counts of 20 and one, respectively. However, kidnapping/abduction declined from 55 counts to 41.

Crimes against property also increased last year when compared to 2020 from a total of 3,141 to 3,204. Areas such as arson, vandalism and robbery saw were all up last year, with arson rising from nine to 15. Vandalism jumped from 848 to 953 last year, and robberies were up from 49 in 2021 to 59 last year. Welfare fraud and identity theft both remained the same level both years. Criminal activity such as burglary, false pretenses and stolen property offenses all declined in 2021. Burglaries fell to 112 last year from 156 in 2020, while false pretenses fell to 127 from 223.

Crimes against society were down from 708 to 521 in 2021. Drug violations saw a decline from 398 in 2020 to 241 last year, while prostitution cases were down from two to one. However, drug equipment violations remained the same with 24 in each year, while charges of obscene material rose from 14 in 2020 to 18 last year.

The city did see an increase in violent crimes, up from 371 in 2020 to 474 last year. Aggravated assault, robbery and rape each rose from 299, 49 and 20, respectively, in 2020, to 382, 59 and 27, respectively, last year.

Here are the detailed numbers for all four categories and by year.

Crime rates in Suffolk City

Crimes against persons

2021: Total of 2,228 — Simple assault, 1,583; aggravated assault, 382; intimidation, 116; forcible fondling, 75; kidnapping/abduction, 41; forcible rape, 20; murder/nonnegligent manslaughter – six; forcible sodomy – three; sexual assault with an object and human trafficking, one each.

2020: Total of 2,025 — Simple assault – 1,497; aggravated assault – 299; intimidation,  95; kidnapping/abduction, 55; forcible fondling, 53; rape, 15; murder/nonnegligent manslaughter and sexual assault with an object, each at three; forcible sodomy and statutory rape, each at two; and incest, one.

Crimes against property

2021: Total of 3,204 — Destruction/damage/vandalism, 953; larceny (all other), 716; theft from motor vehicle, 261; theft of motor vehicle parts, 247; shoplifting – 241; motor vehicle theft -156; false pretenses, 127; impersonation, 118; burglary/breaking and entering, 112; robbery, 59; credit card fraud, 56; forgery, 52; identity theft, 25; embezzlement, 18; arson, 15; stolen property offenses – 114; wire fraud, nine; blackmail, six; theft from building, three; and welfare fraud, one.

2020: Total of 3,141 —  Vandalism of property, 848; larceny (all other), 641; theft of motor vehicle parts, 337; theft from motor vehicle, 248; shoplifting, 191; false pretenses, 223; motor vehicle theft,171; burglary, 156; impersonation, 67; forgery, 52; robbery and credit card fraud, each at 49; embezzlement, 32; identity theft, 26; stolen property offenses, 24; arson, nine; wire fraud and theft from coin operated machine, each at five; blackmail, four; bribery, welfare fraud, hacking/computer invasion, and pocket-picking, each at one .

Crimes against society

2021: Total of 521 — Drug violations, 241; weapon law violations, 228; drug equipment violations, 24; obscene material, 18; animal cruelty, nine; and prostitution, one.

2020: Total of 708 — Drug violations, 398; weapon law violations, 260; drug equipment violations, 24; obscene material, 14; animal cruelty, 10; and prostitution, two.

Violent crimes

2021: Total of 474 — Aggravated assault, 382; robbery, 59; rape, 27; and murder/nonnegligent manslaughter, six.

2020: Total of 371 — Aggravated assault, 299; robbery, 49; rape, 20; and murder/nonnegligent manslaughter, three.

According to the report, the Crime in Virginia database employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred, according to the VSP release.