Violent crimes decrease in Lamar County - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Violent crimes decrease in Lamar County

Violent crime is down in Lamar County according to the latest yearly crime statistics from the sheriff’s department. (Photo source: WDAM) Violent crime is down in Lamar County according to the latest yearly crime statistics from the sheriff’s department. (Photo source: WDAM)
LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

Violent crime is down in Lamar County, according to the latest yearly crime statistics from the sheriff’s department.

“Most of the major crimes are down, some of them dramatically,” said Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel.

Rigel said it’s one thing that he’s proud of for his department and county, but there’s still work to be done.

“The one that really has been a slight increase, and we’ve seen this over the last several years, is domestic violence,” he said.

In 2017, the county saw only one homicide, which was domestic related, according to Rigel.

“You know we’ve seen a trend in the last couple of years where domestic violence, which some people call it a closed-door crime, they’re up, but I don’t know if that’s because of the economy or just we’ve become a more complicated world," Rigel said. "I think people take it out on themselves, inside the family more than they used to."

In 2016, the county saw a total of three homicides.

Another category which saw a slight increase was assaults. 

“Our assaults are up a little bit,” said Rigel.

That number of aggravated assaults is 63, and the overall total of simple and aggravated is 268, which is an increase from 2016’s total of 257.

Rigel said an area that is constantly growing, but not violent, is auto burglaries.

“Majority of the auto burglaries are a thing of chance, a thing of opportunity," Rigel said. "They’re looking for an open door and majority of the ones that are reported are open doors."

He said one way they fight crime is keeping up with statistics and manpower.

“We continually watch our crime stats, and anytime we see a trend or something going in a particular area, that’s where we concentrate our efforts,” Rigel said. “Through grants and the board of supervisors, we’ve increased our manpower, we have more people out there on the street, when you have more people out there on the street, you can see a lot more stuff.”

One other thing that’s help cut crime is neighborhood watch programs.

“They’re very effective, we’ve got over 20 something neighborhood watches, whereas 15 years ago, we didn’t have any,” said Rigel.

He said no matter how low a number is, there will always be crime reported.

“We don’t live in a perfect world, so we’re not going to have perfect results, but the numbers that I’m looking at, you know we can always work harder to reduce those numbers and that’s what we’re doing,” Rigel said. “Individually, collectively, as a community that’s what we’re striving to do, but the numbers are low and we want to continue to keep them low.”

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