More Crime in Suffolk?

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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A report issued by Virginia State Police shows violent crimes and those against other people in Suffolk rose during 2022.

VSP’s Crime in Virginia report shows that in its violent crime section,  murder and non-negligent manslaughter saw an increase during 2022 with 12 in the city. That’s up from seven in 2021, three in 2020, six in 2019 and just two in 2018.

Aggravated assault ran about the same in 2022 and the year prior at 372 and 383, respectively. However, these are up from past years as the report shows aggravated assaults at 299 in 2020, 173 in 2109 and 151 during 2018, according to the report.

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Robberies and rapes ran in the same range during the five years between 2018 and 2022, according to the report. There were 61 robberies in 2022, up by two at 59 in 2021. The reports shows there were 49 robbery reports in 2020, down from 67 in 2019 and 69 in 2018.

The VSP report also shows rape is on the rise in the city.

Forcible rape violations were up over the past five years hitting 35 in 2022. That’s up from 29 in 2021 and 20 in 2020. In 2019 there were 30 reported forcible rapes and 2018 saw 31 reported forcible rapes, according to the report.

Crimes against person

Violations falling under crimes against person, which include murders, kidnapping, rape, aggravated and simple assaults, and intimidation, were up slightly over the last five years, according to the report. During 2022, these violations totaled 2,308 in the city, up from 2,244 in 2021 and 2,025 in 2020. There were 1,999 of these types of violations reported in 2019 and 2,126 in 2018.

Simple assaults rose the most in recent years at 1,666 in 2022, up from 1,584 in 2021. But the largest number in the past five years was in 2018 with 1,706 reported. They were down to 1,566 in 2019 and 1,497 in 2020, according to the report.

Intimidation violations edged up to 131 in 2022, ahead of the 116 in 2021 and 95 in 2020. There were 113 reported in 2019, down from 119 in 2018.

The VSP report shows forcible fondling reports were at 56 in 2022, down from 83 in 2021. Prior year reports show there were 53 in 2020, 57 in 2019 and a high of 80 in 2018.

Forcible sodomy violations totaled six in 2022, up from four in 2021 and two in 2020. It shows there were six reported for 2019 and seven in 2018.

Sexual assault remained in the same range over the five years with two violations in 2022, one in 2021, three in 2020, and two each in 2019 and 2018, according to the report.

Crime rate declines

The state report shows the crime rate in Suffolk has declined during the past three years, the only periods reported. 

The report shows the offenses at 5,812.72 per 100,000 population during 2022, down from the previous year at 6,199.94 per 100,000 population. The rate for 2020 was 6,094.14 per 100,000 people.

Arrests on the rise

The report shows the arrest numbers in Suffolk rose in the most recent years, with a total of 1125 reported for 2022. That’s up from 1,042 in 2021. The numbers for 2020 were higher at 1,167, while there were 1,359 in 2019 and 1,503 in 2018.

Crimes against society

The VSP report shows that in the crimes against society section, which includes drug and narcotics, weapons pornography and animal cruelty violations, overall numbers showed a steady decline during the five-year period between 2018 and 2022.

Total crimes against society were at 431 in 2022, down from 517 in 2021 and 685 in 2020. They were also higher in 2019 at 681 and 783 during 2018.

Drug and narcotics violations dropped during the period, with 208 reported in 2022 and 242 in 2021. There were 393 drug and narcotics violations reported in 2020, 446 in 2019 and 605 in 2018.

Drug equipment violations are up in recent years with 28 during 2022, up from 24 in both 2021 and 2020. The report shows 2019 slightly higher at 25, while there were only 10 in 2018.

The report shows weapons violations are up in recent years. During 2022, there were 197, down slightly from 2021 at 231 and 242 in 2020. There were 182 weapons violations in 2019 and 159 in 2018.

Pornography and obscene material charges were up with a high of 20 in 2022, while there were 19 in 2021 and 14 in 2020. Numbers were much lower in the previous years with two in 2019 and 10 in 2018.

Animal cruelty violations were only available for four years, with 10 reported for 2022, up from nine in 2021, according to the report. There were 10 of the violations reported for 2020 and three in 2019. Numbers for 2018 were not available.

Crimes against property

The State Police report shows the total number of crimes against property, which include vandalism, shoplifting, theft and robbery, were down over the five years between 2018 and 2022. While there were 3,082 of the violations reported for 2022, that’s down by nearly 25% from 2018 when there were 4,002 reported. The latest violations numbers are down from 2021 at 3,224 and 2020 at 3,141. They were also much higher for 2019 at 3,824.

Breaking and entering and burglary violation reports dropped from 2018 to 2022, with 102 reported last year. That’s down from 112 in 2021 and 156 in 2020. There were 199 burglary and B-and-E violations in 2019, with 297 in 2018.

State Police show destruction of property and vandalism is one of the crimes with violations on the decline. There were 787 reported in 2022, down from 952 in 2021. The numbers for 2020 were at 848, while 2019 was at 962 and 2018 at 1,038 violations.

Shoplifting has remained in the same range of violations over the five year period, with 286 reported for 2022, according to the report. That’s up from 247 in 2021 and 191 in 2020. The highest year for shoplifting violations was 2019 at 396, while there were 294 reported in 2018.

Theft from motor vehicles was at 250 violations for 2022, down slightly from 262 reported in 2021. There were 248 reported for 2020, down from 370 in 2019 and 494 in 2018.

The report shows theft of motor vehicles varied over the five years reaching 344 for 2022, up from 247 in 2021. There were 337 of the violations reported in 2020, down from 369 in 2019, but up from 253 for 2018.

All other larcenies was on the decline over the five years, dropping to 644 in 2022. That is down from 717 in 2021. The report showed there were 640 reported in 2020, 823 in 2019 and 872 in 2018, according to the report.

Other crimes in this section of the report ran in the single and double digits for violations such as counterfeiting, embezzling, extortion, impersonating others, hacking, false pretenses, pick-pocketing and purse snatching. 

Domestic violence

Violations involving domestic violence involving those who were intimate, family and acquaintances varied over the five years, with 2019 hitting the highest numbers in the city.

The report shows in 2022 there were 1,677 domestic violence violations, up from  1,649 in 2021 and 1,534 during 2020. The cases spiked at 1,772 during 2019, up from 1,550 in 2018, according to the report.

The report is Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2022.

The report provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the commonwealth. The “Crime in Virginia” report also breaks down criminal offenses and arrests by reporting agency.

The News-Herald reached out to Chief of Police Alfred S. Chandler for an interview to provide perspective on the report. However, repeated requests were unsuccessful.

To review more detailed data or the full VSP report online, visit