What do the crime numbers say about Farmville?

FARMVILLE – The clearance rate is up and the number of special operations cases is dropping. Overall, the crime numbers look good for the Farmville Police Department. However, there are a couple areas where the numbers went up last year.  

At the end of June, Virginia released all data about police departments from 2022, That includes everything from the number of cases investigated to the clearance rate. When it comes to Farmville, the department saw some numbers decrease and others climb. As Farmville and the nation adjust to a post-pandemic world, these numbers reflect what many other localities are seeing across the country. 

When it came to special operations, the Farmville Police Department reported 140 cases for 2022 compared to 163 for 2021. This means that there were fewer cases that needed investigations or the ones that took place were easier to solve and didn’t need an investigation. The clearance rate for these cases went up by two percent from 67% in 2021 to 69% in 2022. 

Violent crime numbers slightly increase

Unfortunately, there were some slight increases in select crime numbers, which include violent crimes and property crimes. In violent crimes, including assault, homicide and rape, the total jumped from 98 in 2021 to 104 in 2022. In property crimes, including larceny and arson, the total jumped from 203 in 2021 to 217 in 2022.

According to Sam Bowles, spokesperson for the Farmville Police Department, these statistics basically show Farmville, like the rest of the Commonwealth, is returning to pre-pandemic status. Over the past three years, people weren’t out as much which caused very low crime numbers. Sadly, the numbers are now starting to trend higher. 

“We’ve ultimately noticed that we are overall returning to pre-COVID levels since no one was going out during the pandemic so we are starting to see an increase, especially in selected crime,” he said. “It seems to us that overall crime is starting to slightly trend up. But, that’s what we are also seeing nationally.”

Other numbers slightly climbing 

There were some other numbers that slightly climbed during 2022. For example, aggravated assaults went from 18 in 2021 to 23 in 2022. Then in April 2022, there was the robbery of Citizen’s Bank and Trust, the first robbery in town since 2019. A 23-year-old suspect was arrested soon after in that case. And back in October, the town saw its first murder investigation in several years, when a 25-year-old victim was shot multiple times.

A 20-year-old Prospect resident now faces criminal charges in that case. The department attributes this also to things opening back up. Last year was the first since the pandemic where things were truly opened up and back to normal, in terms of no restrictions. And while the increases were slight in most cases, Bowles said the department is working to cut that back down. 

“We are definitely trying to look at any and all tactics to lower crime and make our community as safe as possible,” said Bowles.