FAIRFIELD — Fairfield saw its major crimes rise by 7.2 percent between November 2012 and November 2013.
Police said a big contributor to that rise is the state’s realignment of its prisons, which is moving prisoners from state prisons to county jails, straining the local justice system.
“A lot of inmates are being released to the street with no supervision,” Fairfield Police Capt. Darren Moody said. He noted that these people make up an increasing percentage of the arrests Fairfield police made last year.
Fairfield police have responded with efforts to partner with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office to keep tabs on former state prisoners after they are released from custody.
The department is also in the process of putting together a second street crime team to support the already existing one, giving Fairfield police a stronger presence in the city’s neighborhoods. It was an idea that came out of the Fairfield City Council’s annual retreat that took place earlier this year.
Fairfield was afflicted with a 15 percent rise in its violent crimes. Homicides dropped 38 percent to only five committed in 2013 and rapes dropped by 45 percent to 12 in 2013, but robberies jumped by 26 percent, with 153 reported, and aggravated assault jumped by 17 percent to 293 reported.
The number of property crimes rise by 6 percent overall. Only theft did not see an increase since 2012.
Arsons rose by 43 percent to 20 reported in 2013; auto thefts rose 25 percent with 580 reported in 2013; and burglaries rose by 10 percent with 681 reported in 2013.
Fairfield’s emphasis on supporting neighborhood watch, residents who are willing to get involved with such groups, and the use of technology such as cameras to combat crime have been a big help to the department, Moody said.
“Community involvement has been a big deal to us,” Moody said. “If not for that, we would have seen more of a rise.”
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.