Domestic violence increases in 2018 for Madison and RidgelandBy NIKKI ROWELL,
An average of 20 people experience physical violence from an intimate partner every minute in the United States.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), that totals around 10 million abuse victims annually.
Domestic violence is on the rise across the country, and both the city of Madison and Ridgeland are not immune to this trend.
In fact, the largest increase in crime from the Madison Police Department’s uniform crime report, comparing 2018 to the previous year, is in domestic violence cases.
There were 40 cases in 2018, which is 14 more than the previous year.
Cpt. Kevin Newman with Madison Police Department said the city partners with the Center for Violence Prevention. The center helps train officers on what to look for when responding to a domestic violence call and what resources they have available for victims.
In order for an officer to make an arrest for domestic violence, there must be evidence of an assault, Newman said.
“If there is evidence of an assault, there is a mandatory arrest,” Newman said. “If there’s a mark, the law requires us to make that arrest.”
Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal said he has also noticed a small increase in domestic violence cases in the city from year to year.
He said the goal of Ridgeland officers has been to step in before the cases go too far.
“Our officers are doing a good job stepping in on these cases after one report,” Neal said.
Officers work to help victims with resources to get out of their situation so that things do not escalate or become a more volatile situation.
Ridgeland Police Department saw an increase in sexual assault, in addition to domestic violence.
According to the Madison Police uniform crime report, the city saw a small increase in crime compared to 2017. Larcenies, including shoplifting, continue to be the leading category of reported crime in the city.
The categories that saw an increase in 2018 in Madison are robbery and assault. The increase in robberies was minimal.
However, Madison saw an increase in assaults by 20, with 72 reported simple assaults and 16 assaults with a weapon.
The city of Ridgeland saw fewer aggravated assault charges last year, with 33 being reported. Those numbers are down from 37 in 2017.
A decrease in residential burglaries and auto thefts was reported for 2018 in Madison. Last year, the city saw more population growth, in addition to growth in its commercial, retail and professional areas as well.
Because theft is the leading crime in Madison, the police department encourages residents to close carports when not in use and remove valuables and secure them at all times.
Robberies were down in 2018 as well, including seven armed, two strong-arm, and two larceny with assault. Fourteen were reported in 2017.
However, there were fewer burglaries reported in 2018 in Ridgeland, including 32 residential and nine commercial, 12 fewer than the previous year’s total.
Approximately 553 cases of larceny were reported in Ridgeland last year, with the highest being shoplifting clocking in at 248.
Larceny continues to drop in Ridgeland, down from 564 the previous year and 644 in 2016.
One major area that the police department deals with is auto burglary, according to Neal.
There were 115 auto burglaries reported in 2018. The department is continuing its campaign to help put a stop to auto burglaries in the city.
According to a release from the Ridgeland Police Department, officers responded to 24 separate incidents in residential areas where a total of 38 vehicles were burglarized.
Those incidents all occurred within three-and-a-half months at the end of 2018.
The main thing officers remind residents of is to protect themselves against auto burglary by simply locking their doors.
The number of burglaries is smaller than the previous year. However, the department reported that there is still much cost that could be avoided from these crimes of opportunity.
The most recent cases resulted in three arrests and a large part of the stolen items were recovered.
According to the police department, two detectives worked a total of 164 man-hours on the cases, including 35 hours of overtime for crime scene processing with an estimated payroll cost of $6,000, and evidence submitted to the Mississippi State Crime Lab for processing totaled nearly $1,800 of taxpayer money.
The three people who were arrested are juveniles and will only serve a limited amount of time in detention.
No rapes or murders were reported last year in either Madison or Ridgeland.
This information is from the department’s completed data entry for last year. The uniform crime report is voluntarily furnished to the Federal Bureau of Investigations nationally, including the major crime categories that were reported to the Madison Police Department during the 2018 year.
The police department utilizes this report as a measuring tool to gauge manpower and equipment resource deployment, crime prevention techniques and methods, and crime detection and suppression tactics.