Sunday, December 4, 2011
Public Safety Meeting Today
Council President Annie McWilliams has taken the unusual step of calling for a meeting on public safety at 4 p.m. today, Sunday, due to a "recent rash of burglaries."
McWilliams said Public Safety/Police Director Martin Hellwig will attend, with members of the Police Division. The meeting is from 4 to 5 p.m. at 1341 Prospect Avenue, the McWilliams family home. It is not a City Council meeting. According to her announcement, all are welcome to attend the meeting and bring their questions or concerns.
Plaintalker was unaware of a recent increase in burglaries, but the 2010 Uniform Crime Report, released Nov. 10, shows a 16 percent increase in burglaries in Plainfield over 2009, from 334 to 387. Larcenies increased 10 percent, from 846 to 930. Undoubtedly the current poor economic conditions have led to increases in these crimes, which are considered non-violent, but affect the quality of life in neighborhoods.
Urban dwellers already know enough to take precautions such as locking cars and securing their homes, but career burglars tend to hit whole streets or neighborhoods looking for opportunities to steal valuables. Often police can stop a spate of burglaries with one or two arrests.
Plainfield's "crime index," the total of seven major crimes, increased by 9 percent in 2010, from 1,773 to 1,936. Among Part 1 (violent) crimes, murders, rapes and aggravated assaults increased, while robberies decreased. All Part 2 crimes - burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle theft - increased.