State police assigned to the region stayed busy in 2018 and made more than 100 arrests for drug crimes in Shenandoah and Warren counties.
The Virginia State Police recently released its annual crime report for 2018 that includes data provided by law enforcement agencies across the commonwealth. The report includes information for each agency such as incidents investigated and arrests made. Agencies also reported their staffing numbers.
State police responded to 217 incidents in Shenandoah County and reported 231 offenses for 2018. Police made 118 adult arrests and 1 juvenile arrest in the reporting period. Police made 36 adult arrests for charges of driving under the influence. State police received in 2018 one report of forcible rape; one report of forcible fondling; three of aggravated assault; two of simple assault and one of intimidation. State police responded to 191 reports of drug or narcotic violations in Shenandoah County and made 61 adult arrests and one juvenile arrest for these offenses.
State police in Warren County responded to 243 incidents and reported 251 offenses in 2018. Troopers made 70 adult arrests in 2018. State police made seven adult arrests for driving under the influence; 16 arrests for fraud and 50 for drug or narcotic offenses, according to the report.
The latest report appears in a new format that features statistical data for each law enforcement agency on its own page. Keon Turner, manager of the Virginia State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Section, responded to questions about the latest report, including what prompted the agency to change the format.
“We procured a new repository system that allows for easily generated reports, greater quality control and availability to the public,” Turner said by email.
State police provide more detailed information on the reports at https://va.beyond2020.com.
When asked why the latest report breaks down some categories into more specific offenses, Turner responded:
“As we have more flexibility in the publication of data with our new system, we’re able to get more granulated information and chose to disseminate the information with more specificity,” Turner stated. “Forcible sex offenses have always been collected in separate categories, but presented as one category to mirror the FBI’s data collection.”
Combine all forcible sex offenses in the latest report to compare the numbers in general category of forcible sex offense with the same data collected for previous years, Turner explained.
Asked if the new format poses a challenge in comparing data from one year to the next, Turner stated:
“We hope to continue updating Crime in Virginia with each year to give readers as much information as possible.”
The total number of offenses in one major category as reported by contributing agencies decreased from 2017 to 2018, the report shows. Agencies reported 418,074 offenses in Group A, which includes crimes against people, property, and society, in 2018 compared to 437,369 in 2017.
The number of reported victims of forcible sex crimes such as rape or sexual assault increased. Agencies reported 5,736 victims of 5,442 forcible sex crimes in 2017, compared to 5,835 victims of 5,598 forcible sex crimes in 2018.
The theft of financial property accounted for a total loss of $76.7 million in 2017 compared to $209.6 million in 2018, the report notes.
The state reported that firearms represented 27.3 percent of all known weapons used in aggravated assaults in 2017 and 26 percent in 2018. The number of assault victims with an injury increased from 63.7 percent to 69.5 percent.
State police assigned to the Northern Shenandoah Valley and some neighboring localities continue to work in understaffed offices as some trooper positions remain unfilled, agency data show.
The Culpeper Division covers counties in six areas, each of which has fewer troopers than the number included in the state budget.
Area 14 covering Page and Shenandoah counties is allotted 17 troopers, four short
Area 15 covering Culpeper, Madison and Orange counties is allotted 16, five short
Area 16 covering Rockingham County and Harrisonburg is allotted 12, one short
Area 12 covering Fauquier and Rappahannock counties is allotted 12 for Fauquier and four for Rappahannock, one short
Area 5 covering Spotsylvania and Stafford counties is allotted 39, four short
Area 13 covering Clarke, Frederick and Warren counties is allotted 37, 11 short.