Pottstown Crime Affected By Shorthanded Department, Increase In Drug Trade

POTTSTOWN, PA – There is a fairly simple reason why violent crime in Pottstown seems to have been on the rise in 2014.

The police were short-handed.

“At the beginning of 2014, we were down by 15 officers,” said Pottstown Police Chief Richard Drumheller.

“As a result, we had to pull people off the drug detail and, not surprisingly, we saw an increase in the drug problem,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150308/pottstown-crime-affected-by-shorthanded-department-increase-in-drug-trade

Several Factors Led To No Slayings In Coatesville In 2013

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COATESVILLE, PA  –   Coatesville, long considered the hotbed of crime in Chester County, went without a homicide in 2013 after seeing six, including three in 10 days, the previous year.

Law enforcement officials are attributing the drop to an intense targeting of high-risk criminals and to factors outside their control – such as the weather.

“You don’t know which one of those was the silver bullet that really caused this drop,” Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said Thursday. “So your only real choice for law enforcement is to keep all of them up for as long as you can.”

What happened in Coatesville mirrored trends in much larger cities across the country. Philadelphia had 247 killings last year, a 25 percent drop from 2012. In New York and Chicago, the fewest homicides were recorded since 1963 and 1965, respectively.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140104_Several_factors_led_to_no_murders_in_Coatesville_in_2013.html#Bf4Uy35BFgHSCPUv.99

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Pottstown Police Hope Digital Mapping Tool Will Solve Crimes

Editor’s note:  Any use of technology can only help police zero in on problem areas and crime trends.  Targeted enforcement can then be used to clean up problem areas or reduce certain types of crime that are above an acceptable level.   Two thumbs up!

POTTSTOWN — A new digital tool is helping police and the community combat the age-old problem of crime.

While mapping the locations of crimes that have occurred in Pottstown is not new, the practice moved in the digital direction after Police Chief Richard Drumheller took over the department in the spring.

Instead of using thumbtacks and a paper map, the Pottstown Police Department is using www.crimemapping.com, to track crime and analyze trends in the borough.

The department pays for the services analysis and data but the interactive website can be viewed for free by the public.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131111/pottstown-police-hope-digital-mapping-tool-will-solve-crimes

Reading Taps New Technology To Predict And Prevent Crime

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It won’t replace city police officers’ intuition. It’s several techno-steps beyond the crime-mapping Reading has been doing for 30 years. It’s not criminal profiling.

And it’s not psychic.

But PredPol claims its software technology can tell police when and where the next crimes are likely to occur, within a few blocks.

“We are always seeking ways to improve our ability to fight crime in our city – in this case, preventing it before it happens,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said at a press conference Thursday. “This technology is a force multiplier.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=516734

Vehicle Thefts In Reading At 10-Year Low

A decade after vehicle thefts became an epidemic in Reading, police say the crime is on a pace to reach a 10-year low.

As of the end of July, 170 vehicles had been stolen in the city this year, compared to 246 at the same point last year, said Officer Keith Merkel, one of three city policemen assigned full time to a state police regional auto theft task force.

But Merkel isn’t ready to pop champagne corks. He noted August and September were the busiest months for vehicle thefts in the city last year.

While auto thefts have declined locally and nationally in recent years, car thefts actually spiked in Reading in 2012.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=504178

Homicides On Track For 45-Year Low In Philadelphia

Homicides in Philadelphia in 2013 are on pace for the lowest midyear total in nearly half a century, police figures show, putting the city in reach of a modern-day low at year’s end.

As of Friday, with three days left in the six-month period, police had recorded 115 homicides, a 38 percent drop from the same period last year.

The half-year figures are a promising sign for a city that in recent years has held the dubious distinction of being the nation’s most violent big city.

Mayor Nutter, top police officials, and prosecutors, along with criminal-justice experts, say the decrease in homicides reflects a new emphasis on data-driven policing, a crackdown on gun criminals, and sweeping reforms in the criminal courts.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130630_Homicides_on_track_for_45-year_low_in_Philadelphia.html#WveCycR2JxYQ9MoR.99