“I wish I could say it’s because of my anti-crime policy that we initiated on such and such a date, but it’s not,” Secret said. “There’s really no rhyme or reason for it.”
The data cover 2007 through 2011 and were compiled by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. The division breaks down reported crimes into two categories: violent (such as homicide and rape) and property crimes, which include burglary and larceny. There is also a category for auto theft.
All of Lewisboro’s reported crimes fell into the property category. In 2007, 96 property crimes were reported. That fell to 86 in 2008 and 77 in 2009. There was a precipitous drop to 40 in 2010 and then all the way to 26 in 2011. Lewisboro had only two auto thefts during the five-year period.
Lt. Doug McCray said some of the data from 2007-08 could be misleading because Lewisboro police and the state police often reported the same crime when both agencies were called to the scene, resulting in redundant paperwork. However, that system was eventually ironed out, and yet the statistics provided by the Division of Criminal Justice Services showed that the number of property crimes in Lewisboro continued to radically decline.
Secret said the recent drop in reported crimes isn’t something that’s particular to Lewisboro. There’s been a nationwide trend toward a decline in property crime for the past several years, he said.
“Twenty-eight other agencies [in Westchester County] also saw a drop in crime,” McCray said. “Briarcliff was down 62 percent and Bedford was down 38 percent. I think the state police were down about 9 percent. It’s part of an overall reduction in Westchester County.”
Secret said he was a little surprised that crime dropped over the past several years when the economy is taken into consideration.
“We’ve been in a recession and times are tough,” he said. “I would have thought that crime would have skyrocketed over the last couple of years. That’s what usually happens during a recession.”
Another factor could be that the population of Lewisboro has declined in the past few years and the Katonah-Lewisboro school district has experienced a marked drop in enrollment.
“That could be playing a small part,” Secret said.
He also noted that fears there would be a surge in crime because of a cutback in police patrols in Lewisboro over the past few years due to budget cuts were unfounded.
“Apparently there’s been no impact,” he said.
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