Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Crime stats in Henry County level
Some violent crimes decline, sheriff says
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
Most major crime statistics in Henry County did not change greatly from 2002-12, but there were general declines in forcible rapes and other sex offenses and an increase in drug/narcotics offenses.
That’s according to Sheriff Lane Perry.
There were 12 confirmed rapes in 2012. That compares with 21 in 2003, the highest number in 2002-12, and 19 in both 2002 and 2007, the second highest. There were fewer than 10 rapes each year from 2008-11.
Those figures and all other statistics are according to 2012 statistics provided by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and from 2002-11 statistics reported by the sheriff’s office that were included in annual “Crime in Virginia” reports.
There were 29 confirmed “other sex offenses” in 2012, down from the 30s and 40s each year from 2002-2009. The most from 2002-12 occurred in 2004 (46), and the second most (41) occurred in 2002. The least from 2002-12 occurred in 2010 (22), and there were 27 in 2011. Included in “other sex crimes” are non-rape forcible sex offenses, non-forcible sex offenses, prostitution and pornography.
Better reporting of sex crimes, more awareness of people “to not let themselves become victimized” and better enforcement of sex laws relating to children, such as child pornography laws, are among the factors in the general decline in sex crimes in Henry County from 2002-12, Perry speculated. Better reporting of sex crimes “is a deterrent in that there are so many avenues to report it now,” Perry said.
No figure for drug/narcotics offenses was available for 2012. But the number of confirmed drug/narcotics offenses ranged from a low of 97 in 2004 to a high of 322 in 2007.
Perry said the increase could be attributed to several factors.
For one, prescription pill abuse has been “rampant” in recent years, Perry said.
Also, “in the last few months we’ve been seeing heroin back. We hadn’t seen it for years. It’s back and on the increase,” he said.
He also noted that the sheriff’s office is “aggressively pursuing the problem. It may be we’re able to make more cases,” Perry said.
A variety of other crime categories follows:
There were five homicides in Henry County from January through December 2012. That includes murder, non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter and justifiable homicide, according to Steve West, crime analyst with the sheriff’s office.
From 2002 through 2011, the number of murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses reported by the sheriff’s office ranged from a high of eight in 2006 to a low of three in 2007, according to statistical reports.
The sheriff’s office also reported:
• 26 robberies in 2012. That compares with a high of 41 in 2002 and a low of 21 in 2011 for the years 2002-11.
• 121 aggravated assaults in 2012. That compares with a high of 157 in 2003 and a low of 99 in 2009 for 2002-11.
• 399 simple assaults in 2012. Confirmed simple assault/intimidation offenses ranged from a high of 613 in 2002 to a low of 446 in 2006 for the period 2002-11.
• 367 burglaries in 2012. That compares with a high of 399 in 2011 and a low of 248 in 2005 for the period from 2002-11.
• 1,067 “larcenies” in 2012, including larceny/theft, fraud, blackmail, bribery and embezzlement offenses. Somewhat comparable numbers for 2002-11 (including larceny, extortion/blackmail, embezzlement, bribery and fraud) range from a high of 1,595 offenses in 2002 to a low of 853 in 2010.
• 61 vehicle thefts in 2012. That compares with a high 111 in 2007 to a low of 59 in 2009 for the period from 2002-11.
• Seven confirmed arsons in 2012. That compares with a high 16 in 2002 and a low of three in 2010 during the 2002-11 period.
In 2012, the value of property stolen in Henry County was $2,019,033, and $433,217 of that property was recovered. Twenty-one percent of stolen property was recovered in Henry County in 2012, compared with 13 percent for Virginia.