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Report: Larceny up in Manassas

The city of Manassas, Virginia, recently released its annual crime report, and it showed that the way police are targeting certain offenders is certainly putting more citizens accused of specific crimes behind bars.

Authorities placed a strong emphasis on pursuing individuals they believed to be guilty on theft--related charges. The report showed that larceny without the threat of force jumped from 680 last year to 786 this year. That was a 14 percent increase. Many of the individuals arrested for larceny were accused of theft from a vehicle.

A similar jump was witnessed in aggravated assault crimes, which rose from 46 last year to 54 this year. Because of increases in these two areas of the law, Manassas saw an 8 percent rise in serious crime since last year, even though it doesn’t necessarily mean the city is more dangerous than before.

The police chief in Manassas admitted that they employed two new tactics to fight crime in the area. This included targeting certain areas of the city specifically. They also encouraged the notion of community policing. Law enforcement claims that they are simply being proactive about fighting crime in Manassas.

The report also showed that Georgetown South and Point of Woods neighborhoods in Manassas have the highest concentration of crime. These are also the densest neighborhoods in the area.

These types of reports typically just reflect how police are enforcing the law in certain areas, not how many people are actually committing crimes. Certain offenders can be unfairly targeted by law enforcement, just so they can chalk up a moral victory and claim that they are keeping the community safe.

All men and women arrested in such efforts are entitled to their day in court and the chance to defend themselves against the charges. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, no matter what crimes they have been charged with.

Source:  washingtonpost.com/, "Aggravated assault and larceny on rise in Manassas, report shows" Jeremy Borden, Apr. 26, 2013

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