Violent Crime Up In Reno? Yes, But.......

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The headline sounds scary--Violent crime rises in Reno.

The story itself is less so.

The preliminary data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting system does show an increase in 2012 from the year previous.

In Reno's case the raw numbers rose from just over 11-hundred in 2011 to nearly 12-hundred last year.

A closer look shows an actual increase of 86 violent crimes in 2012 even though, as a Reno Police spokesman pointed out the number of homicides was actually cut in half--14 in 2011 down to 7 last year.

The number of forcible rapes was up slightly, but as he pointed out people are increasingly more likely to report that crime than they once were.

The real increase, he said, was in aggravated assaults.

Nationally the numbers are up slightly for homicides, aggravated assaults and robbery, but forcible rape is down.

And these are preliminary numbers. Once adjusted for population growth, they'll shrink even further.

But after years of falling numbers, it still begs the question, is this the beginning of a reverse trend?

If it is, what might be the cause?

"You could get a lot of experts to try to give you a lot of reasons as to why," says Washoe County Undersheriff Todd Vinger. "One reason you could think of is the reduction of staff nationwide of law enforcement based on the downsizing of law enforcement and the budget challenges we've all faced."

But while those years of cutbacks may have been challenging for law enforcement, they've also forced some positive changes. Local stats now guide more closely targeted enforcement and Vinger says, we're getting more information about keeping ourselves and our property safe.
The sheriff's office has just launched the latest of those changes--their own smart phone app.

"If we can provide more information in the hands of the public to prevent a crime, which to me is more important than just simply responding to crime."

The app is free. You'll find it by searching Washoe Sheriff or WCSO in the app store. You'll find everything that's on the sheriff's website, report a crime, check on inmates.

It's just another tool to help keep you in the loop and help local law enforcement help keep you safer.