Sheriff Greg Champagne of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office reports that crime in St. Charles Parish rose by 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2006 when compared to the same period last year. However, crime fell by .2 percent in the first half of 2006 when compared to the first six months of 2005.
The total number of offenses reported to the F.B.I according to the Uniform Crime Reports was 609 in the second quarter of 2006 as opposed to 595 during the second quarter of 2005, an increase of only 14 offenses. The total offenses recorded during the first six months of 2006 fell by two offenses from 1123 in 2005 to 1121 in 2006.
There were no homicides reported in St. Charles Parish since the beginning of 2006.
"2005 was a ten-year low for crime in St. Charles Parish," said Sheriff Champagne. "Essentially, we are on track for a year similar to last year. According to our best estimates from the parish government here, there are approximately an additional 20,000 people currently residing in our parish from the number pre-Katrina. I will be surprised if we don't see an increase in crime in 2006 from the record year we had last year," concluded the sheriff.
St. Charles Parish reportedly had a population of 51,000 before Katrina. That number has grown to 69,100 following Katrina.
Sheriff Champagne says the one preventable crime in St. Charles Parish is personal property crime. The sheriff encourages residents to be vigilant especially with respect to property crimes. He urges residents to again lock automobiles when not in use and to remove any valuables from inside. "Taking some simple precautions can go a long way towards helping us continue to reduce crime in St. Charles Parish," said the sheriff.