Report details crime in the area

Published 9:00 am Friday, July 15, 2022

Non-violent crimes such as theft, larceny, vandalism, drug-related offenses topped the crime numbers reported last year in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties, while there were larger numbers of simple assaults in the communities.

There were only two murders in the three counties last year, according to the Crime in Virginia report from the Virginia State Police (VSP).

The report, prepared by VSP’s Data Analysis and Reporting Team, provides rates and occurrences of crimes committed in cities and counties across the commonwealth.

The numbers show that Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward saw some areas of crime up in 2021, while others dropped in comparison to 2020. The Crime in Virginia report at va.beyond2020.com in the area for localities breaks down offenses into four areas — violent crimes, crimes against person, crimes against property and crimes against society.

Violent crimes, which include murder, aggravated assault and rape, declined in both Cumberland and Prince Edward counties. Cumberland has 14 reports in 2021 total compared to the previous year’s 22, while Prince Edward had 42 last year versus 45 in 2020. Buckingham County experienced an increase in violent crimes with 22 reported in 2021, up from 19 the prior year, according to the Crime in Virginia database.

Crimes against persons, which include cases of murder, assaults and a wide range of violations, were down in Buckingham and Cumberland counties. Buckingham’s numbers decreased to 73 in 2021 from 77 the prior year, while Cumberland dropped to 62 from 80 in the prior year. The only increase was in Prince Edward County where there were 170 cases last year, compared to 149 in 2020.

Crimes against property, which is made up of larceny, theft, shoplifting and vandalism, were down in Cumberland, but up in Buckingham and Prince Edward. Cumberland saw a decrease with 2021 at 82 compared to the previous year’s 97. Buckingham and Prince Edward counties rose to 315 and 462, respectively, in 2021. In 2020, their respective totals were 283 and 451, according to the database.

Crimes against society, which are crimes such as drug offenses, gambling and prostitution, were down in the database for both Cumberland and Prince Edward, while they rose in Buckingham County. Cumberland’s numbers fell to 13 in 2021 from 42 the prior year, while Prince Edward was at 110 last year, down from 156 in 2020. However, Buckingham County saw a small increase with a total of 83 reports, up from 82 the prior year.

Overall, Virginia experienced an increase in violent crimes during 2021, the report shows, with a rate of 194.4 cases per 100,000 population last year, up from 183 per 100,000 in 2020. There were 16,823 violent crime offenses reported in 2021 compared to 15,713 violent crime offenses reported in 2020, representing a 7.1% increase, according to a news release from VSP.

The detailed data for the three counties shows where the types of crimes in each of the four categories.

VIOLENT CRIMES

Buckingham County: aggravated assault, 12; rape, six; robbery, three; and murder, one.

Cumberland County: robbery, nine; rape, four; aggravated assault, one; and no murders.

Prince Edward: aggravated assault, 29; rape, 12; murder, one; and no robberies.

In a news release, state police reported that the number of reported homicides statewide increased from 528 to 562, a 6.4% increase. The murder/ non-negligent manslaughter rate in the state increased from a rate of 6.15 per 100,000 population in 2020 to 6.49 per 100,000 in 2021.

CRIMES AGAINST PERSON

Buckingham County: simple assault, 43; aggravated assault, 12; intimidation, 6; forceable rape, 5; kidnapping/abduction, two; and one report of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible sodomy and forcible fondling. There no reports of sexual assault with an object, incest, or crimes involving human trafficking.

Cumberland County: simple assault, 38; aggravated assault, nine; forcible fondling, five; forcible rape, three; and two cases each of negligent manslaughter, intimidation and kidnapping/abduction; sexual assault with an object, one; and no reports of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible sodomy, incest, statutory rape and crimes involving human trafficking.

Prince Edward County; simple assault, 111; aggravated assault, 29; forcible rape, eight; forcible fondling, six; intimidation, five; kidnapping/abduction, four; sexual assault with an object, three; statutory rape, two; one each of forcible sodomy and murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; and no reports of negligent manslaughter, incest, or crimes involving human trafficking.

CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY

Buckingham County: destruction/damage/vandalism of property 82; larceny (all other), 71; motor vehicle theft, 36; burglary/breaking and entering, 34; theft from building, 21; theft of motor vehicle parts/accessories, 18; theft from motor vehicle, 13; false pretenses/swindle/confidence game, 12; identity theft and shoplifting, six each; stolen property offenses and credit card/automatic teller fraud, four each; robbery and embezzlement, three each; hacking/computer invasion and impersonation, one each; no reports of arson, bribery, counterfeiting/ forgery, extortion/blackmail, welfare fraud, wire fraud, pocket-picking, purse-snatching or theft from coin operated machine or device.

Cumberland County: larceny (all other), 32; destruction/damage/vandalism of property, 21; false pretenses/swindle/confidence game, eight; burglary/breaking and entering, seven; motor vehicle theft, five; hacking/computer invasion and credit card/automatic teller fraud, two each; robbery, stolen property offenses, identity theft, arson and counterfeiting/forgery, one each; and no reports of embezzlement, extortion/blackmail, impersonation, welfare fraud, wire fraud, pocket-picking, purse-snatching, shoplifting, theft from building, theft from coin operated machine or device, theft from motor vehicle, theft of motor vehicle parts/accessories or bribery.

Prince Edward County: destruction/damage/ vandalism of property and shoplifting, 106 each; all other larceny, 78; false pretenses/swindle/confidence game, 38; theft from motor vehicle 35; theft from building 27; burglary/breaking and entering 14; impersonation, 13; motor vehicle theft and theft of motor vehicle parts/accessories, 11 each; credit card/automatic teller fraud, eight; counterfeiting/ forgery, five; embezzlement, three; arson, stolen property offenses, two; hacking/computer invasion, extortion/blackmail and purse-snatching one each. There no reports of welfare fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, robbery, pocket-picking, theft from coin operated machine or device or bribery.

CRIMES AGAINST SOCIETY

Buckingham County: drug/narcotic violations, 53; weapon law violations, 24; drug equipment violations, five; pornography/ obscene material, one; and no reported cases of animal cruelty, betting/ wagering, operating/promoting/assisting gambling or gambling equipment violations.

Cumberland County: drug/narcotic violations, eight; weapon law violations, four; pornography/obscene material, one; and no cases of drug equipment violations, betting/wagering, operating/promoting/ assisting gambling, gambling equipment violations, prostitution, assisting or promoting prostitution, purchasing prostitution or animal cruelty.

Prince Edward: drug/narcotic violations, 81; weapon law violations, 22; pornography/obscene material, four; drug equipment violations, two; prostitution, one; and no cases of betting/wagering, operating/ promoting/assisting gambling, gambling equipment violations, assisting or promoting prostitution, purchasing prostitution or animal cruelty.

According to the report, the Crime in Virginia database employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred, according to the VSP release.