Stockton Police Encouraged by Dropping Violent Crime Rate

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STOCKTON -- The look and sound of a crime scene is all too familiar in the City of Stockton but according to the Stockton Police Department’s latest crime data the reputation of a violent city could be slowly changing.

“We’re seeing encouraging numbers,” Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said.

The chief said property crime like burglaries and car thefts and violent crimes such as murders and robberies are down this year over last.

“Violent crime is down eight percent, so far, this year compared to last year, property crime down six percent, and overall crime is down  seven percent,” Jones told FOX40.

The data is even more encouraging when we take a look back. In January of this year there were no homicides and in all of 2016, the crime rate was lower than it has been in years.

“We had a good year last year for Stockton where we saw the lowest amount of both property crime and overall crime in the last 16 years,” Jones said.

Jones said there are a number of factors that play into the most recent data. Community organizations, neighborhood watch groups and even the weather.

“But also I think we often neglect to give the community credit. We have more tips coming in, the community is getting more involved,” he said.

Chief Jones also credited neighborhood programs and the city’s willingness to help residents with job opportunities, literacy and education. But he encourages residents to stay vigilant.

“Criminals are opportunist," Jones said. "They’re just looking for that opportunity and if we reduce that opportunity we can see a reduction in crime, as well.”

Jones also addressed underreporting and said that although that remains an issue, they have had more citizens reporting crimes compared to previous years.