- Jan 31
Significant Crime Reduction Continues in Martinsburg
The Martinsburg Police Department announced today the continued substantial decrease in major crime for the year 2016. The significant results will be included in the Department’s 2016 Annual Report to be released next week. The latest crime totals demonstrate a continued sharp and sustained downward trend in major crime from the first three quarters of last year that was reported by MPD last October.
“The men and women of the Martinsburg Police Department have been on a mission to knock down crime and make every neighborhood in our City a safer place to live and a better place to raise families. We are succeeding. 2016 saw our crime fighting strategies and community partnerships really pay off. Crime has been reduced, our City is safer, and the quality of life in our neighborhoods has improved. Our officers have done a great job,” stated Chief Maury Richards in announcing the marked crime reduction.
Compared to 2015, last year’s crime in Martinsburg was dramatically reduced across-the-board in almost every category. The most impressive results were the drop in robberies and burglaries. In 2016 there were 22 total robberies in Martinsburg compared to 40 during 2015—a reduction of 45%. Burglaries also plummeted. 2016 saw a total of 228 burglaries, down from the 336 reported in 2015—a reduction of 32%. Other categories of reported crime also reveal a steady reduction as compared to 2015. In 2016 Sexual Assaults and Abuse declined 24%, total crimes involving weapons dropped 9%, assaults and batteries were down 7%, motor vehicle thefts were reduced 5%, and shoplifting down 15%.
Faced with serious spikes in both robberies and burglaries in 2015, the Martinsburg Police Department developed a wide-ranging action plan to address the challenge. “Last year we could see that crime numbers were going in the wrong direction,” stated Deputy Chief George Swartwood. “We focused on the problem, developed a plan, and followed through. These new numbers are the result of the hard work and dedication our officers. I couldn’t be more proud of the men and women of MPD,” Swartwood added.
Richards attributes his Department’s success with a comprehensive community policing strategy that has combined: focused enforcement; better follow-up investigations; teamwork; positive police-community engagement through bike patrol, foot patrol, and problem-solving; improved officer training; utilizing technology, and new police-community partnerships. “When the police and the community work together, it builds mutual trust. More Martinsburg residents are supporting their police and cooperating to help prevent and solve crimes. I think the numbers speak for themselves,” stated the MPD Chief.