Several Crime Categories Saw Significant Drops Last Year
Lynnfield Police Chief David Breen reports that from 2011 to 2012, there were noteworthy drops in vehicle break-ins, house break-ins, and malicious destruction of property reports.
Several crime categories saw significant declines between 2011 and 2012 in Lynnfield, Police Chief David Breen told Lynnfield Patch this week.
According to the police chief, there were 58 vehicle break-ins reported in Lynnfield in 2011, compared to 22 in 2012 - marking a decline of about 60%. Also, house break-ins went from 76 in 2011 to 53 in 2012 - decline of 31% - while malicious destruction of property reports fell 32% with 125 in 2011 and 86 in 2012.
"I'm very pleased with that," said Breen, adding that the decline in vehicle break-ins was something of a surprise since there has been little reduction in the drug problem and the economy has remained stagnant.
Overall, the chief said it's difficult to say exactly why these crime categories fell, but he pointed out that with officers out doing more traffic enforcement, would-be offenders "see the cruisers out there" or get stopped themselves and tend to not stay around.
Breen also credited the department's Anthony Hnath for capturing two burglary suspects in town last year, noting that "when you catch them it's great - these guys are one-man crime sprees."
Upswing In DUI Cases In 2012, Total Number of Offenses Down
Not all crime categories were down in Lynnfield over the past year. Breen reported that OUI arrests were up from 11 in 2011 to 20 in 2012. One possibility, he acknowledged, could be that people are more likely to use cell phones now to report erratic drivers.
Most other crime categories, reported Breen, stayed generally consistent from 2011 to 2012.
In total, there were 867 total criminal offenses reported in Lynnfield in 2011. In 2012, that number dropped to 624.
Also a Big Upswing in Firearms License Applications
In a non-crime related trend, Breen also reported that he has seen a "tremendous upswing" in applications for firearms licenses in both Lynnfield and nationally. "Everybody is swarming out to get guns," he said, in part because of concern among gun owners about proposed gun control measures.
As a result of that, Breen said that it's taking longer to process the applications and to get the licenses back to people. Otherwise however, Breen said that his department has not changed anything about the way it handles firearms applications, and that the increased number and ensuing slowdown has not made background checks any less thorough or methodical.