Patterson police recorded 921 incidents classified as FBI Part One crimes in 2012, while there were 815 in 2011 — a rise of 13 percent.
The seven FBI Part One crime categories, which must be reported to the FBI, are homicide, forcible rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and auto theft.
Hughes said property crimes had increased in the past year, but because Patterson has relatively few of them, percentages can fluctuate greatly with a small increase or decrease in actual occurrences.
“Crime has stayed relatively stable over the last four years,” Hughes said prior to the council meeting. “Robbery, burglary, theft and auto theft — that seems to be the majority of our increase.”
Breaking down crime
The numbers she reported Tuesday indicated 16 robberies in 2011 and 24 in 2012, a 50 percent increase.
In July, Hughes reported that crime was up by 20 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with the first half of 2011.
At the time, the chief blamed Assembly Bill 109, a measure approved by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 that transferred future responsibility for nonviolent criminals, such as those convicted of property crimes, from state prisons to local jails.
The plan was a response to a Supreme Court ruling that the California prison system was overcrowded.
But many local jails were overwhelmed by convicts being sent to jail instead of prison, and many ended up being released, Hughes said.
In raw numbers, theft was the most common crime in Patterson in 2012, followed by burglary.
Hughes showed a graph that indicated that 411 thefts were reported in 2010, a number that dipped to 285 in 2011 and increased to 316 in 2012.
The city experienced a 22 percent increase in burglaries from 2011 to 2012, with reports rising from 231 to 282. In 2010, 241 burglaries were reported.
Praise for police
Councilwoman Deborah Novelli heaped praise on Hughes and her deputies and other employees for their work.
“Another year of exemplary work, chief,” Novelli said at the City Council meeting. “When the stats are up, the police are working even harder. We’re all working to get you additional resources.”
Mayor Luis Molina thanked Hughes for making herself available to members of the public.
“You have responded to community requests to see you,” he said. “I want to thank you for the relationships you’ve built in the community.”
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