By Randy Bell
Most categories of felony crime in Clinton edged upward last year, compared to 2022. But a snapshot from ten years ago shows how much safer the city has become in the past decade.
“Tracking the charted felony property, robbery and violent crimes against persons is a good way for us to see where we are throughout the year and where we need to focus our attention on a daily basis,” says Clinton Police Chief Ford Hayman.
The 2023 crime statistics include a ninety-four percent decrease in residential burglaries, compared to 2013, when the City recorded one hundred seventy-four break-ins. Last year, there were eleven, although that was up slightly from the eight burglaries in 2022.
Business burglaries have been flat for the past three years, with five reported in 2021, 2022 and 2023. That’s a seventy-two percent decrease, compared to the eighteen recorded in 2013.
Clinton had four armed robberies last year, after only one in 2022. But it still marks a sixty-seven percent drop from the twelve armed robberies in the city ten years ago.
Two strong-arm robberies were reported in 2023, after one the year before; and there were two car jackings in the city, which went all of 2022 without a carjacking. Again, though, those categories of crime have decreased sixty percent and fifty percent, respectively, since 2013.
There was one murder in Clinton last year, the same as 2022; four aggravated assaults, compared to two the previous year; and two rapes, an improvement over the three recorded in 2022.
Although it may be hard to pin down why some crime stats fluctuate, Hayman says it’s clear why Clinton’s auto burglary rate was up slightly over last year. Two young Jackson men were arrested, accused of committing about thirty of those car break-ins in late May and early June. In the seven months following their arrests, only two other auto burglaries were reported in the city.
Numerically, the largest year-to-year crime increase was in the category of grand larceny, which jumped from nineteen in 2022 to twenty-seven last year. The chief says thieves often target residential developments.
“When new houses are being built, we run into theft issues,” Hayman says, with appliances and bundles of shingles among the items frequently taken. Despite last year’s increase, grand larcenies are down fifty-eight per cent, compared to 2013.
“Our mission is to provide a safe city for our residents and visitors,” the chief says. “Considering that we border, arguably, the most violent city in America and our robberies and shooting incidents are still minimal is attributable to the strong work efforts of our patrol officers, supervisors and investigators. The team we have at the Clinton Police Department is the best in the metro area. Mayor Fisher and the Board of Aldermen are huge supporters of CPD and provide us with the necessary resources to fight crime.”