Data indicate assaults on the rise in Albemarle
Assaults have been on the rise over the last decade, according to violent crime data obtained from Albemarle Police Department.
While homicides and robberies have decreased, assaults have increased 42 percent since 2009, when there were 59 cases of assault in the city. There are more than 80 cases of assault so far this year. The most common types have been assault with a deadly weapon (25 cases), assault with deadly weapon resulting in serious injury (eight cases), assault by pointing a gun (nine cases) and discharging a weapon in an occupied dwelling or moving vehicle (seven cases).
“I don’t believe the reasoning for the increase can be contributed to any one particular cause,” Albemarle Police Chief David Dulin said.
He said there could be many reasons for the rise in assaults, including drug and alcohol use and an increase in citizens reporting the crimes.
“Members of the Albemarle Police Department encourage members of the community to report crimes to the police so we can begin the process of holding people accountable for the crimes they commit,” he said.
What worries Dulin is the perception that people will not be held accountable for their crimes. He said that a majority of assault victims know their assailant and while they choose to report the crimes, they do not want to report the people that committed the crimes.
“Without cooperation from the victim about the events of the crime, prosecution becomes almost impossible,” Dulin said.
Dulin said a good way for people to better protect themselves is to take charge of their safety.
“While there are no guarantees, you can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim by understanding that security for you and your family has to become habitual,” he said. “Always lock the door to your home, do not leave valuables in the front seat of your vehicle, don’t leave your purse on your desk and don’t flaunt all of your expensive jewelry.”
He advises people to always be aware of their surroundings and avoid getting lax and thinking they won’t be a victim of a crime.
Dulin also said people should trust their instincts.
“If you have a gut feeling that something is not right, turn around and go back into your house or the store,” he said. “Listen to your instincts and if something doesn’t feel right, let someone know.”