Crime in Lynchburg-By the Numbers

Criminal activity is an unfortunate but inevitable part of life.  According to the Bible, the very first man born of human parents committed murder.

While crime is inevitable, that does not mean it is acceptable.  All criminal conduct is unacceptable and justice must be done.  As Commonwealth’s Attorney I will hold offenders accountable and work with law enforcement to reduce crime to the lowest possible level.

1. Violent Crimes

Fortunately, the recent history of the City of Lynchburg is already a crime reduction success story.  While the evening news and morning paper will always have stories of crime in the city to report, crime is considerably lower than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago according to data from 2015, the latest reported statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Data.

In a given year individual types of crime might be higher or be lower than the year before.  Likewise, the rate itself can sometimes increase or decrease over the prior year.  But like the stock market, you can see trends develop when you step back from focusing on only one or two points of data.  As any experienced courtroom attorney knows, you must focus on all of the facts available when presenting your case. Focusing solely on one or two items that you feel helps your case while ignoring the facts that hurt your case leaves you unprepared.

The trends in Lynchburg are clear:  violent crime has been significantly reduced thanks to the hard work of law enforcement and the work of the members of this community.

-Compared to when I began my career in the Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office in 2006, the violent crime rate in Lynchburg in 2015 was down 32.5% over what it was in 2006.

-When compared with 20 and 30 years ago the improvement in the violent crime rate is even more dramatic.

-The violent crime rate in 2015 was 54% lower than the violent crime rate in 1995.

-Violent crime is down 37% compared to what it was in 1985.

Although the population of the City of Lynchburg grew by roughly 10,000 citizens (13% increase) from the 1980s and 1990s and even 2006, the actual number of violent crimes was lower in 2015 than it was in 2006, 1995 or in 1985.

This means that not only was the violent crime rate lower, the number of reported incidents of violent crime were lower in 2015 than in 1985 1995 or in 2006.

 

2. Property Crimes

Property crimes have shown a similar trend.

In 2015, the last year we have statistics from the FBI, the property crime rate of the City of Lynchburg was 39% lower than what it was in 2006 when I began in this office.

The property crime rate was 50% lower in 2015 than it was in 1995.

The property crime rate was 49% lower in 2015 than it was in 1985.

As with violent crime, the actual number of reported property crimes was lower in 2015 than in 1985, 1995 or 2006.

While we will never rest until all criminal actors are brought to justice, I am proud of the work of law enforcement and this community in reducing the crime rates over the years.  As your Commonwealth’s Attorney I will dedicate myself to seeing an even further reduction in crime and an even safer community for us to live, work and raise children in.