Earlier this month, on the evening of October 2, the Town Creek / Forest Meadow Crime Watch held their annual meeting for the National Night Out Against Crime at Skyview Elementary. We were very fortunate to have several great speakers and the turnout was excellent this year!
During the course of our evening we discussed many topics including the new Crime Watch Patrol phone texting and photo capabilities, crime statistics, police reports, and patrol log data. For those of you that were unable to attend, I am including portions of that information below.
If you have joined Crime Watch, Thank You! If you have not, please support your neighborhood and join TODAY.
Online Crime Data
There is a good source of official Dallas crime data online, including neighborhood specific information. The data can be retrieved at the following website: http://www.dallasareawatch.com
Once at the website, go to the second data tab down on the page labeled “DOWNLOAD NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT” and scroll to “Town Creek”, or “Forest Meadow”, or “Oak Trail Villas”. Press the “CLICK TO DOWNLOAD” button, and you will be provided with a detailed report in Microsoft Excel format. For those of you that do not use Microsoft Excel, there are quite a few freeware programs available online for viewing the data, and many similar spreadsheet products have the ability to import Excel spreadsheets.
To be clear, the data provided at dallasareawatch.com only represents crimes that were reported to the Dallas Police AND an official Police report was filed, resulting in an official case number. Which leads me to my next topic…
Office Police Reports
Each year a substantial number of the crimes committed in our neighborhood are not reflected in the official Dallas Police crime statistics because an official Police Report was never completed. The lack of official reporting skews the crime data for our area, and that very crime data is utilized by the police department to deploy personnel around the area.
If you are a victim of crime, it is imperative that you file an official police report so that the Northeast Division of the Dallas Police can provide adequate patrol coverage to our immediate area. Please call 911 to have the police come to your house to complete a report or call our Crime Watch patrol officers to assist you.
Filing an official police report has no bearing on your insurance premiums, but will result in additional police coverage in our neighborhoods.
Patrol Log Data
As many of you know, we have been tracking various types of patrol officer calls and incident reports in the neighborhood during recent years. The charts and graphs have become large enough that they would be difficult to include at a legible scale in this article, so here are a few of the key points:
Crime in our neighborhood and even around Dallas is relatively seasonal. During the hottest and coldest months of the year there are fewer crimes committed. The mild spring and fall months tend to see more criminal activity.
In the last 78 months of Patrol logs recorded by the Town Creek/Forest Meadow Crime Watch patrol officers:
- There have been 1375 calls regarding suspicious persons and in 688 of those instances, the suspicious person(s) have been located by our officers.
- 27 of those suspicious persons located had outstanding warrants and were taken to jail.
- Officers have reported or closed 502 open garage doors
- Officers have responded to 298 false alarms
- Officers have responded to 554 Mischief/Nuisance calls
Crime data by year for Town Creek/ Forest Meadow reporting area:
- 51 crimes in the last 9 months of 2012
- 44 crimes in all of 2013
- 55 crimes in all of 2014
- 52 crimes in all of 2015
- 69 crimes in all of 2016
- 45 crimes in all of 2017
- 33 crimes through the end of September of 2018
ENP (“Extended Neighborhood Patrol”) Crime Report
VIP (“Volunteers In Patrol”) Crime Report
The Volunteers in Patrol program is designed to reduce crime by having citizens patrol their own neighborhoods in their own vehicles and reporting any suspicious or criminal activity to the police by calling 911. All volunteers must attend the required training course. Most training classes are offered at the seven substations and usually last between 2 to 4 hours and are NON-CONFRONTATIONAL.
Town Creek-Forest Meadows neighborhoods have 24 DPD-trained VIP individuals. Each month, these neighbors provide an additional 15 to 20 hours of patrol time to keep our neighborhood safe. A presence is important and can be a deterrent. Our VIP patrols quite often observe open garage doors, contact the homeowner and resolve the situation.
We must thank Mark Duval, our neighborhood VIP coordinator who initiated this program and has continued to encourage additional neighbors to take the training and volunteer to patrol.
*Please, NEVER hesitate to call the Crime Watch officers or 911 to report suspicious activity. Notifying Crime Watch or 911 of suspicious activity can help prevent problems before crimes are committed — and, it sends a message to any individuals with bad intentions that this is not a neighborhood for criminal opportunity.