The Wheeling Police Department has released its annual crime statistics for 2017.
According to the overall statistics, calls for service were down, but for the second straight year “Group A” offenses, more serious crimes increased.
The crime data is divided into two areas:
- Group A offenses: more serious crimes (i.e. murder, robbery, burglary)
- Group B offenses: more nuisance, quality of life, and highway safety/traffic offenses.
The department answered 22,090 calls in 2017, which is down 2-percent from 2016.
Calls for service have dropped each year since 2013. Officials say that this is, in part, due to the lack of traffic unit, various staff vacancies within the department, and more having less officer-initiated type calls.
According to a press release from WPD, Group A offenses increased by 2-percent. Three categories saw a significant increase:
- Drug related calls increased by 82-percent (384 in 2017 vs. 211 in 2016)
- Sex offenses increased by 122-percent (40 calls total)
- Weapon related offenses increased by 61-percent (21 calls total)
Statistics showed that robberies and assault calls mostly did not change from 2016. However, burglaries, vandalism, and fraud calls dropped.
Group B offenses decreased by 7-percent. Most of the categories saw reductions equally, with the exception of trespassing calls slightly on the rise.
According to the press release, officers responding to drug-related overdoses increased by 12-percent, which included six deaths in 2017.
Overdoses were not just heroin related, but multiple types of narcotics.
In addition to overdoses, WPD responded to 98 medical calls to assist the Wheeling Fire Department.