Crime slightly up in St. Charles so far

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 7, 2006


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – Keeping pace with last year’s 10 year low in crime, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office released their first half of 2006 crime stats with the pace being almost identical in total incidents occurred.

Some individual statistics are up slightly from last year at the this time, such as rape, robbery and assault, but auto thefts have decreased by more than half.

The total incidents occurred in 2006 is 1121, down from 1123 in the first half of 2005.

While the current overall numbers are encouraging, St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne said that long term trends show more of what the department is accomplishing than short term.

Champagne noted its common to have a variation of about 3-9 percent up or down each year on these statistics, but considering the population in St. Charles has risen since last year in August from 51,000 to nearly 70,000 people.

&#8220I will be surprised if we don’t see an increase in crime in 2006 from the record year we had last year,” Champagne said.

&#8220According to our best estimates from parish government here, there are approximately an additional 20,000 people currently residing in our area from the number pre-Katrina.”

Champagne noted that crimes such as rapes or the numerous auto burglaries that took place the last week of July are hard to prevent and usually isolated incidents.

The department does act on those crimes quickly he said to ensure they remain isolated incidents.

St. Charles deputies are working hard to keep their area safe but can also use the help of residents, Champagne said, to help avoid crime and keep the department working on more important cases.

&#8220In recent weeks and months, the most preventable crime we have seen is property crime,” Champagne said. &#8220Don’t leave valuables in your automobile and lock your doors. Taking some simple precautions can go a long way towards helping us continue to reduce crime in St. Charles Parish.”