SHELTON — Simple assaults and shoplifting rose this past year, while narcotics, burglary and motor vehicle theft crimes dropped, according to statistics released by Shelton police.

Overall, Shelton police filed 1,571 reports in 2019, nearly 100 less than the 1,664 filed in 2018. The total number of incidents cleared by arrest also rose — 340 in 2019 compared with 322 the previous year.

“The department is constantly examining the crime statistics - types of crimes, where they are happening - and making adjustments to address those issues,” said Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky.

“The less total reports and the higher clearances are a product of the diligence of the patrols and the aggressive work of the investigative bureau,” added Koslowsky. “Overall, Shelton is always among the safest cities, and the police department does a good job addressing issues necessary to deter crime.”

Among the most significant increases were seen in thefts from buildings — 66 in 2019 versus 22 in 2018; shoplifting — 67 in 2019, versus 25 in 2018; simple assault — 54 in 2019, compared with 46 in 2018, and disorderly conduct — 72 in 2019 versus 66 in 2018.

Kozlowsky said that thefts from businesses and unlocked vehicles throughout the city were of concern this past year. The department stepped up patrols in those areas hardest hit and communicated with the public about how to best safeguard against thefts.

Police responded to 11 incidents of sexual assault, down from 14 in 2018; the department investigated eight reports of rape, up one from the previous year.

Drops in reports were seen in burglaries — 61 in 2019 compared with 66 in 2018; motor vehicle theft — 22 in 2019 versus 35 in 2018; drug crimes — 36 in 2019 compared with 41 in 2018; thefts from motor vehicles — 62 in 2019, down 17 from 2018, and threatening — 63 in 2019, down five from the previous year. Driving while under the influence also dropped, from 26 in 2018 to 18 this past year.

“No juristiction is free from crime,” said Kozlowsky. “What we do as a department is continually look at ways to reduce crime. The best way for us has been a multi-pronged approach — the investigative and patrol units asking who did it, and the administrative unit looking at why it is happening and how to best reduce it. To accomplish that goal, we also work closely with the public, business owners, all stakeholders. The collaboration has worked.”

People can access the police department’s crime statistics on its website.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com