ELIZABETHTOWN — Despite a decrease in the overall crime rate statewide in 2012 when compared to 2011, Bladen County’s crime rate showed an increase. And that trend was evident across the board shenj broken down into specific types of crimes.
According to Attorney General Roy Cooper, the state’s overall crime rate per 100,000 population fell by 4.4 percent and represents the lowest total since 1976. He said that, over the past 10 years, the state’s crime rate has fallen 20.3 percent.
“When you ask people how they want their tax dollars invested, public safety ranks very high on the list,” Cooper said in a statement. “We must invest in well-trained officers and modern crime-fighting tools, and if we don’t I’m concerned that public safety will pay the price.”
In Bladen County, however, the numbers all show an increase in the crime rates from 2011 to 2012.
The overall crime rate rose from 4,440.6 incidents per 100,000 people in 2011 to 4,700.1 in 2012.
The violent crime rate — which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault cases — Bladen County’s rate increased from 3.23.5 incidents per 100,000 people in 2011 to 398.3 incidents in 2012. By comparison, the state’s rate increased by just 0.6 percent between 2011 and 2012.
The property crime rate — which includes burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft cases — increased in Bladen County from 4,117.1 per 100,000 population in 2012. By comparison, the state’s rate decreased by 4.9 percent from 2011 to 2012.
North Carolina’s crime statistics are provided by the State Bureau of Investigation as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, a nationwide effort administered by the Federeal Bureau of Investigation.
Attempts to reach a spokesperson with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office were unsuccessful.
In a trio of neighboring counties, the overall and property crime rates went down, but the voilent crime rate went up.
— Sampson County: The overall crime rate of 3,406.5 incidents per 100,000 in 2011 fell to 3,162.7 incidents in 2012; the property crime rate of 3,219.3 in 2011 fell to 2,969.9 incidents in 2012; and the violent crime rate of 187.2 incidents in 2011 rose to 192.8 incidents in 2012.
— Columbus County: The overall crime rate of 4,925.8 incidents per 100,000 in 2011 fell to 4,735.2 incidents in 2012; the property crime rate of 4.576.1 in 2011 fell to 4,353.3 incidents in 2012; and the violent crime rate of 349.7 incidents in 2011 rose to 381.9 incidents in 2012.
— Robeson County: The overall crime rate of 7,133.1 incidents per 100,000 in 2011 fell to 6,783.2 incidents in 2012; the property crime rate of 6,351.8 in 2011 fell to 5,973.7 incidents in 2012; and the violent crime rate of 781.3 incidents in 2011 rose to 809.5 incidents in 2012.