The Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) has released its 2017 Crime Report.
Chief Barry Barnard provided details about the report at the Central District Police Station in Woodbridge on Friday morning.
“Prince William County is — and continues to be — a safe community … Folks go about their business, go to our schools, shopping, go to the movies, places of worship, our parks — whatever folks do in their daily lives, Prince William County is a good place to do it,” Barnard said.
Prince William County’s crime rate rose slightly from 13.7 per 1,000 residents in 2016 to 14 in 2017. The crime rate in 2013 was 17.
The population, which was about 456,100 in 2017, increased by about 6,200 people.
PWCPD uses seven crimes — aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, murder, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and rape — to calculate the crime rate each year.
The department saw a decline in crime rate for murder, robbery and burglary from 2016 to 2017.
Crime rate for rape, aggravated assault, larceny, and motor vehicle theft increased between the two years.
The number of rapes that were reported jumped from 60 in 2016 to 112 in 2017.
Barnard pointed out that crime is counted in the year it’s reported, not when it occurs.
Of the 112 rapes that were reported, 75 took place in 2017.
“Many of these are juvenile victims, and so as we talk about why we have this 112 — what’s that about — we’re not certain,” Barnard said.
He added that educating the community about sexual assault may have impacted the number of reports made in 2017.
“Presentations and education and information may instill confidence in victims to come forward,” Barnard said.
The full video of the meeting is coming soon.
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