Crime in Tupelo decreased by more than 20 percent from 1994 to 1995. Here is a look at the number of crimes reported in the last five years.

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995

Murder 2 2 3 2 2

*Rape NA NA NA 17 8

*Sexual Battery NA NA NA 20 20

Aggravated Assault 197 152 175 117 86

Robbery 12 61 58 64 54

* In 1991 through 1993, rapes and sexual batteries were counted in one category.

Source: Tupelo Police Department, Detective Division.

By Cynthia M. Jeffries

Daily Journal

The number of violent crimes reported in 1995 to the Tupelo Police Department dropped by more than 20 percent from the previous year, the biggest decrease the department has seen in the last five years.

“Whenever we have a violent crime reported, we work hard to make an arrest. We’ve targeted our violent crime over the last years,” said Capt. Harold Chaffin, head of the Tupelo Police Department’s Detective Division.

Crime Prevention/Public Information Officer Russ Witt said a better trained department may have also played a factor in the reduction.

In comparing the last two years, 1995 to 1994, the numbers were remarkably lower in three of the five categories of violent offenses: rapes, aggravated assaults and robberies. The biggest change was noted in the number of rapes investigated by Chaffin’s unit, which dropped from 17 reports in 1994 to eight in 1995 – a 56 percent decrease.

Aggravated assault – beatings or non-fatal offenses involving weapons -reported the second highest decrease, 26 percent, going from 117 cases investigated in 1994 to 86 in 1995. Robberies rounded out the top three with 54 being reported in 1995, 10 fewer than the 64 reported the previous year.

The number of homicides and sexual battery cases investigated by Chaffin’s department stayed the same.

The numbers reflect only the cases reported to the detective division.

The decrease follows a national trend in which violent offenses like murder were on the decline. According to an FBI report released last month, the number of murders, one of the most reported violent offenses, plunged by more than 12 percent during the first half of 1995, the largest drop in 35 years.

Chaffin said though the decrease in violent crimes looks good, all is not well. The number of property crimes – such as auto theft, burglaries, shoplifting – is steadily rising, although exact figures were unavailable Friday.

No big changes were reported in the number of drug cases handled in this area. The North Mississippi Narcotics Unit, the drug enforcement agency for Tupelo and 11 other counties, handled 1,067 felonious and misdemeanor cases in 1995, 12 fewer than the 1,079 in 1994.

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