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HPD releases crime stats for first quarter of 2022

Several city leaders gathered at the Hattiesburg Police Department Tuesday during day three of National Police Week.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Throughout National Police Week, local law enforcement agencies are educating the public about their departments.

Several city leaders gathered at the Hattiesburg Police Department Tuesday during day three of National Police Week to talk about Hattiesburg’s crime statistics for the first quarter of 2022.

“During Police Week we want to promote the events of the week, but we also want to let the public know where we are this year in terms of crime stats,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker.

According to HPD, there’s been a 47% decrease in violent crime during the first four months of 2022 compared to 2021.

Violent crimes, also referred to as part one crimes, are offenses like homicide, rape, robbery and assault, meaning a decrease in them is extremely beneficial for Hub City.

“As a reduction in part one crimes, it’s very important for the city and the police department and, of course, the communities because, you know, we like the community to feel safe and to be safe in their own homes,” said Hattiesburg Police Chief Peggy Sealy.

While violent crimes have decreased overall, some crimes remain a big problem.

“Mr. Fontein spoke on auto burglaries and auto thefts, and that category is up more than we want to see...,” said Sealy.

According to HPD, there’s been a 31% increase in auto burglaries during the first quarter.

“It’s an opportunity of crime,” said Sealy. “It takes a matter of seconds to go into someone’s unlocked car to take valuables out of the vehicle. In fact, it’s quicker to go inside a vehicle than for you to exit your vehicle.”

That’s why the city is asking people to be safe and smart when it comes to their cars.

“Getting this information... we want people to take steps to protect themselves and their property by parking smart, taking valuables out of the car, taking the keys with you, locking the doors... those are things they can do,” said Barker.

HPD continues its National Police Week events on Wednesday with a memorial service honoring fallen officers.

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