Report: Crime down in Charleston since 2014

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Crime is down in virtually all categories in the City of Charleston according to the 2020 year-end report Just released by the police department.

The statistics in the report go back to 2014, but since COVID-19 began, crime has decreased.

This includes the categories of rape, robbery, malicious wounding, and vehicle theft.

Chief Detective Tony Hazelett says he has a theory on that.

“I strongly feel that that’s because with COVID-19 people are home more so people are reluctant to commit the crime,” he said.

The biggest decrease the report shows is for larceny, with a drop from 2062 cases in 2014 to 809 in 2020.

“We have a lot of people home out there on their porches and they’re calling when they see anything suspicious,” he said.

Still, Detective Hazelett says COVID-19 has brought about other changes in the way people engage, leading to a slight rise in domestic violence calls and recent shootings.

“Right now we’ve seen a couple of shootings where we’ve seen quarreling on Facebook and social media,” he said.

Hazelett encourages everyone to be aware of their surroundings and to keep reporting anything suspicious because that will continue to help keep crime down.

The one category that did remain consistent since 2014 was murder, with 8 cases in 2020 compared to 7 in 2014.

Hazelett says this is low compared to the national average.

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