Antioch crime statistics show mixed results
By John Crowder
Crime statistics for the city of Antioch during the first quarter of 2014 showed mixed results, with the total number of crimes reported rising from 1,243 in the same quarter last year to 1,278 from January to March of the current year. This represents an increase of 2.8% in total crimes reported.
Antioch Chief of Police Allan Cantando gave a presentation on crime statistics to the Antioch City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, April 22.
On the positive side, total violent crime (homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) decreased by 11.6%. All areas showed a reduction except rape, which increased by 200%. Chief Cantando explained that the increase in rape was attributable to redefining the crime, which resulted in incidents now being reportable which previously were not. According to the police report, total violent crimes for the quarter numbered 199. Cantando noted that the police had been focusing their efforts on reducing crimes against persons.
The increase in the number of crimes committed in Antioch was primarily attributable to an increase in property crimes. There were 1079 incidents of property crime (burglary, theft, and auto theft) during the first quarter, compared with 1018 in the first quarter of last year. Most of the increase was attributable to auto theft, which rose from 209 to 269 incidents, an increase of 28.7%. The statistics for burglary and theft almost offset each other, with burglaries rising by 11 and thefts falling by 10.
Police response time continued to improve. Cantando pointed to a decrease in Priority 1 response time, measuring the time elapsed from this type of call being received to police arriving on-scene. For the first quarter, response time averaged 10 minutes, 12 seconds, as compared to a response time of 10 minutes, 30 seconds for the year 2013 and 11 minutes, 4 seconds during 2012.
Cantando also provided the Council an update with respect to the number of sworn positions in the department. He provided statistics showing that 86 full-time positions are currently filled. However, 6 of those are in FTO, and another 8 are out on injury. This leaves Antioch with 72 sworn positions on full-duty.
In related news, speakers continue to come forward during the public comments periods of Council meetings to decry the criminal activity they say is taking place openly in and around Deer Valley Plaza. This has been particularly concerning because of the proximity of the shopping center to Deer Valley High School.