Crime on Guam: Going up or down?

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(PNC file photo)

Is crime on Guam going up or down? To answer this question we let the numbers speak for themselves.

The Guam Police Department has recently released its 2018 Citizen-Centric Report (CCR) detailing crimes reported to police over a four-year period from 2015 to 2018.

The report breaks down violent crimes such as homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

According to the CCR, homicide was up in 2015 with eight reported offenses, dropping to three cases in 2016 and the remaining at four reported offenses in 2017 and 2018.

A decline was similarly seen in the number of reported rape cases. In 2015, GPD reported 160 cases. That number has steadily declined to 32 cases in 2017 before fluctuating upwards to 61 cases in 2018.

While aggravated assault cases dropped from 400 cases in 2015 to 156 in 2016, that number rose from 229 in 2017 to 401 cases reported in 2018.

Reported burglaries, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle thefts have shown an increase when comparing 2015 numbers to 2018 numbers.

For burglary, 2015 numbers show 1211 reported incidences as compared to 2018 numbers at 1502. Larceny-theft rose from 2251 in 2015 to 2273 in 2018. Motor vehicle thefts went up from 222 in 2015 to 354 in 2018.

While the numbers appear to reflect a fluctuating crime trend, the report acknowledges an increase in the number of calls police received in 2018 indicating that there were 24,037 criminal investigation service calls. Meanwhile, the total volume of crimes has seen a decrease from 9451 in 2015 to 9422 in 2018.

The CCR report also highlights the department’s community policing efforts, showing an increase in the community’s involvement with the neighborhood watch program, lauding that in 2018 the program grew to 38 groups in 16 villages. The business watch program has also seen an increased engagement for local businesses.

While you can decide for yourself based on the numbers whether Guam’s crime trend is up or down, PNC reached out to GPD Spokesman Sgt Paul Tapao for comment on what they think of the crime trend. However, no response was received as of news time.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.