Sheriff’s Office reports lowest crime rate in 20 years

The overall crime rate of St. Charles Parish hit a 20-year low in 2016, with the number of total crimes dropping by 13 percent from the previous year, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

1,552 crimes were reported last year, down from a total of 1,786 in 2015. There were also totals provided among seven major crime categories, which included murder, robbery, rape, assaults, auto theft, burglary and theft, the Sheriff’s Office reporting decreases in five of those.

The numbers indicated the past three years have been the three best in terms of low crime numbers during that span, a notable trend from years prior; the low mark from 1998-2013 was 2,094 in 2008, but the total number in the years 2014-16 were 1,777, 1,786 and 1,552, respectively.

“We’re not trying to stand up here to tell you we’re crime free, but we’re certainly moving in a very, very positive direction,” St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said.

Champagne credited a number of factors for the low rate, and said he believes the recent numbers are the overall result of years of developing infrastructure to deter crime. He commended the Sheriff’s Department deputies, detectives and support staff for their work in making it possible, while also noting strong cooperation with District Attorney Joel Chaisson’s office and the willingness of the public to share information though methods like social media as other contributors.

“It’s a battle has to be fought on multiple fronts,” Champagne said. “Over years of time, you develop strategies, engage the community, and the result is an overall reduction in crime rate.”

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