Police chief: ‘Visibility’ key to controlling crime in Shelton
SHELTON — Total property crimes and larcenies rose slightly between 2018 and 2019 while violent crimes remained unchanged, according to the annual FBI crime report released Monday.
Overall, the FBI crime statistics for the city remained close to those numbers used by Safewise, a home security analysis company, in tabbing Shelton as the No. 5 safest community in the state, behind Ridgefield, Newtown, Greenwich and Simsbury.
With a population of 41,287 in 2019, Shelton had 22 violent crimes, down one from the previous year. Property crimes rose to 304 in 2019 from 286 in 2018, with larcenies up from 185 two years ago to 219 last year.
Other stats showed that reported rapes remained the same, eight, in both years, as did robberies, seven. Aggravated assaults went down one — eight to seven — from 2018 to 2019, with burglaries dropping from 67 to 61 and motor vehicle thefts down from 34 to 24.
“It is all about visibility,” Police Chief Shawn Sequeira said about the department’s success in containing crime.
Having a strong police presence in the community has been key in deterring crime, according to Sequeira.
Crime stats for this year, according to the Shelton police department website, show motor vehicle thefts are already higher than last year, with 42 reports through August. In addition, there have been 58 thefts from motor vehicles through last month, including 24 in July and August alone.
Safewise reported that Shelton rose seven spots in the rankings in 2020 from its spot in 2019.
To identify the “safest” cities of 2020, Safewise reviewed 2018 FBI crime report statistics — the most recent complete report available at the time — and population data.
Data shows that the violent crime rate stands at 0.6 per 1,000 residents in the city in 2020, with property crime at 6.9 per 1,000. The property crime numbers have dropped from 10.4 per 1,000 in 2018 and 9.5 per 1,000 in 2019. Shelton has a population of 41,657 and a median income of $89,250.
The rankings are based on both violent and property crime numbers. The website states that Safewise examined the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery) in each city and the number of reported property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft).
To level the playing field, Safewise staff calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city, making it “easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations,” the website states.
“Both violent and property crime numbers were weighted equally,” the site states. “That means that a city with no violent crimes reported could end up lower on the list due to a higher property crime rate, and vice versa. We also standardized violent and property crime for each state before weighting.”