TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The latest crime statistics are a mixed bag for Topeka.
"Year to date we're up in several categories, mostly property crime, but some aggravated assault battery crime," Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller said.
Miller presented the numbers at a quarterly crime strategy briefing at the Law Enforcement Center.
Week to week, the latest numbers were decent, but comparing the January to March quarter with the same quarter last year, the numbers were up.
City violent crimes, including aggravated assault and battery, increased by one, to 12 total, from the week of March 23-29 to the week of March 30-April 5.
In a 28-day comparison, violent crimes increased by five, to a total of 50, when comparing the period February 10-March 8 to the next period, March 9-April5.
But comparing the first quarter to the same quarter last year, violent crimes were up by 23, to a total of 171 this year.
City property crimes, which include burglaries and auto thefts, were down in the week to week and 28-day comparison.
There were 99 property crimes in the March 30-April 5 week (a decrease of 18 from the previous week).
444 property crimes were recorded in the March 9-April 5 period (a decrease of 29 from the previous 28-day period).
The total number of property crimes is 1,565 this quarter - that's an increase of 76 when compared to the same quarter last year.
Miller said it was important to look at the decreases in the week to week and previous 28-day comparisons. He attributed the overall increase in the quarter to the mild winter.
"We didn't have the cold ten degrees or zero or snow on the ground, that has the tendency to suppress all kinds of activities, including crime activity," Miller said.
Miller also credited neighborhood watch programs and particularly the violent crimes task force formed last year with making strides in reducing violent and property crimes.
But he said budget constraints meant the TPD had to choose its battles.
"The residual effect was some of our enforcement efforts went down, traffic enforcement and so forth," he said. "Because we redeployed folks from their normal duties to the violent crime initiative."
"And it paid off, but that affects the police department in other ways," he said.
Miller also touted the federal task force to remove felons with firearms as an effective tool to combat crime.