Newport police data shows city's crime trends

While embezzlement in Newport Beach last year was at the lowest reported level in nine years, aggravated assaults were at the highest in the same period, according to police data.

In 2011, 27 cases of embezzlement were reported — a drop of 40% since 2010, when 45 cases were reported, according to data the Newport Beach Police Department collected.

The department has nine years worth of data available on its website.

Last year's number of reported robberies was also the lowest it has been since 2005. Newport police reported a 38% decrease, with 26 reported — a number down from 42 in 2010.

Sixty-eight aggravated assaults were reported last year, making it the highest number since at least 2003, which is the furthest back the available data goes. The year 2010 saw the second-most cases with 63.

Newport Beach police Sgt. Mark T. Hamilton said the 2011 reports were a small uptick, "and there isn't any specific reason we can point to for that relatively minor increase. What we can say is that in 2012, aggravated assault is trending down."

Hamilton said year-to-date figures show aggravated assault is down in 2012 by 20.6%, and that the city has seen a long-term drop of about 26.6%.

As of June 9, crime data shows reported robberies dropped 25%, and are down 52.6% when compared with a five-year average, he said.

Newport police are divided into 12 teams who patrol the city based on a data-driven approach as instructed by their supervisors, Hamilton said.

The department also has an analyst who creates weekly crime data sets detailing geographic crime trends; these help supervisors better direct patrol officers in the field, according to Hamilton.

Residents can take a proactive approach to preventing property crime by closing and locking garage doors, homes and vehicles, and keeping valuables away from plain sight, he said.

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