Serious crimes in Wheeling went down in 2018, while traffic related incidents were up, according to statistics released by the Wheeling Police Department.
In total, calls for service to Wheeling Police went down 3 percent.
Serious crimes, which are classified as “Group A” and include violent crime and sex crimes, were as a whole down by 5 percent from 2017. The “Group A” offenses that went down include assaults (down 11 percent), burglaries (down 10 percent), robberies (down 33 percent) and sex offenses (down 27 percent.)
Some individual “Group A” offenses were up, however, including prositution arrests (from 4 in 2017 to 12 in 2018) and motor vehicle thefts (15 in 2017 and 36 in 2018). Drug related calls also went up by 10 percent, from 345 to 381.
Less serious offenses, which are described as “more nuisance, quality of life and highway safety/traffic offenses” and classified as “Group B” were up in 2018. Wheeling Police credit this number to more highway safety enforcement and new leadership in Wheeling P.D.’s Traffic Unit.
Traffic citations in the City of Wheeling were up 29 percent from 2017 to 2018, with police giving out 1,750 citations last year. Officer focus on impaired driving and traffic related incidents also saw an increase in DUI arrests by 94 percent.
This increase in focus seemed to have paid off, with traffic crashes going down 3.5 percent from the previous year, police say.
As has been the trend since 2015, drug-related overdoses once again rose, this time by 20 percent, and overdose-related deaths went up by a staggering 117 percent. These overdoses were not exclusively heroin related, but multiple types of narcotics.
Beyond overdose calls, Wheeling Police were called in 89 times to assist the Wheeling Fire Department for medical issues.