Police departments report 2012 crime trends on Palouse

MOSCOW, ID - Now that 2012 is in the books, KLEW News learned that crime stats are up across the board in Pullman, and how the transportation wants of criminals factored into the most common crime in Moscow.

The low crime rate is one of the things that makes the Palouse a great place to live. In fact, one of the most common crimes in Moscow is bike thefts.

"Our most reported crime in Moscow is thefts," said Moscow Police Chief David Duke. "The second most reported crimes are vandalism's."

In 2011 Moscow saw a spike in vehicle prowls, where people were breaking car windows and taking anything of value, but that changed in 2012.

"They've gone down significantly," said Duke. "Those who were responsible for them have been arrested and adjudicated within the criminal justice system, so that stopped them. We still have prowls that are going on but not the smash-and-grabs."

Moscow also saw a slight increase in "crimes against society," which were mainly alcohol related incidents. At this point, Moscow Police only have the stats from the first three quarters of the year, but Chief David Duke said that across the board, there aren't any alarming numbers.

"No major significant increases, and no major significant decreases in our statistic to this point," said Duke. "We still have one more quarter that we're waiting on."

Across the border, Pullman Police Department's Commander Chris Tennant said that the number of crimes reported in every category increased in 2012.

"Bottom line, we're just a lot busier in every single category on crime reports and serving the public in general," said Tennant.

The rate of burglaries, assaults, noise complaints, thefts, and DUI's all nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012.

"Alcohol offenses that we dealt with, mainly on Greek Row and College Hill was 427," said Tennant. "Last year, it was 216."

But Tennant said that more reports doesn't necessarily indicate a spike in crimes.

"Very obviously, we have an increase in population," said Tennant. "So more people in town report more things going on. But also technology has a bearing on this, too.

Tennant said that since more and more people have a cell phone on them all the time, less crime goes unreported, which is a good thing.

The Moscow Police Department will have the crime statistics for the last quarter of 2012 in April, and you can find Pullman's crime statistics on the police department's website.