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Burglaries, assaults, vehicle thefts all down in Southampton

Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki says new initiatives

Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki says new initiatives have helped the department deter criminal activity. Credit: Barry Sloan

Crime in Southampton Town has dropped by 13 percent so far this year, including double-digit decreases in several major categories, from burglaries to auto thefts to rape, officials announced recently.

Year over year, between Jan. 1 and Sept. 20, 2016 to the same period in 2017, the number of reported major crimes decreased from 340 to 296, said Police Chief Steven Skrynecki.

Burglaries decreased the most, with a 33 percent dip in residential break-ins and a 53 percent drop at other establishments, officials said. Reports of residential burglaries dropped from 73 to 49, and reports of other burglaries fell from 36 to 17.

Grand larcenies represented the largest number of crime reports, with 171 in 2017, up by one report from 2016.

All other reported crimes changed by only about one or two incidents in 2017. There were eight rape reports, 20 percent fewer than in 2016; 17 assault felonies, a 17 percent drop; and 11 reports of stolen vehicles, a decrease of 16 percent.

Skrynecki on Tuesday acknowledged that the crime rate can change “kind of quickly” because the number of crimes is “relatively low” in the town. He urged residents to help prevent crime by securing their vehicles, leaving valuables out of sight and taking their keys with them.

Skrynecki became top cop in January and implemented several new initiatives, including creating a counterterrorism unit, sending detectives to the scenes of drug overdoses and using more data-driven policing methods.

“Our newly implemented intelligence-led policing model has enabled us to better focus our resources on crime patterns and anticipated criminal activity,” Skrynecki said in a statement issued Oct. 4. “This, coupled with enhanced community collaboration, is improving our ability to deter criminal activity and quickly address it when it occurs.”

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