CLARIFICATION: During the editing process, information on Westchester County crime was attributed to the Westchester County Department of Public Safety's spokesperson. The crime statistics were released by New York State.
MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Reported crime in Mount Vernon is at a five-year low, an anomaly in Westchester County, according to state statistics.
Westchester County is experiencing an upward trend in crime rates, according to the latest statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Municipalities are required to send crime statistics to the state every month. The 2012 statistics have not yet been compiled by the state.
Countywide, reported crimes went up from 15,388 in 2010 to 16,037 in 2011, according to the report, but were down about 4 percent overall in the past four years.
In the City of Mount Vernon, 2,117 crimes were reported in 2011, down slightly from 2,262 in 2010. Crime is down 6.4 percent since 2007, when 2,445 crimes were reported.
In 2011 in Mount Vernon, 658 violent crimes were reported and 1,459 crimes were reported involving property. Of those property crimes reported, 296 were burglaries, 1,012 were larcenies and 151 were motor vehicle thefts.
About 15 percent of all crimes reported in Westchester County in 2011 were violent crimes. But violent crime decreased .3 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. About 85 percent of all crimes reported in Westchester County in 2011 were property-related, with a 5 percent increase over 2010.
The Westchester County Department of Public Safety received 166 crime reports in 2011, down from 278 in 2010, said Westchester County police spokesperson Kieran O’Leary. But individual municipal and overall county numbers are most accurate in depicting crime levels and trends, O'Leary said.
“Westchester County police are primarily a parkway patrol, so when it comes to county police numbers, it tends to be a little tricky,” O’Leary said. “We don’t operate in every municipality in the county. One year we might respond to an assault in Cortlandt, but it doesn’t mean there’s fewer assaults. We just happened to be available.”
The Westchester County Metropolitan Transit Authority reported a total of 120 crimes in 2011 compared with 119 in 2010. But reported crime has increased 90 percent since 2009, when just 63 crimes were reported, according to the state.
“In general, it is accurate to say that all of our crime categories are steady or declining over the five years [from 2007 to 2011], except for larcenies," said Aaron Donovan, media liaison for the MTA. But, he said, he can’t vouch for the accuracy of the state data without further research.
The uptick in larcenies stems from the widespread increased use of expensive handheld electronic devices, which are easy targets for thieves, Donovan says.
“It’s important for Metro-North customers to remember to always be alert while traveling and make a point of safeguarding expensive electronics while riding on the rails,” he says.
To see how your town compares among others in the county in reported crime, visit the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' website.
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