OGDEN -- A newly developed Ogden Police Department computer program has determined a 15 percent drop in local crime in the past five years and a 13 percent decline since 2011.
The program -- developed by John Harvey, the police department's deputy director of support services -- measures serious crimes, such as rape, homicide, aggravated assault, armed robbery and motor vehicle thefts.
"I'm fairly comfortable with what we've got," he said regarding the accuracy of the data. "We have a computer program to extract data to reproduce it accurately."
In the past, crime statistical data was compiled manually without the use of a singular computer program, which may have produced some inaccurate results, he said.
For instance, domestic violence incidents over the last two years may have been overreported by as much as 50 percent as a result of counting calls when no arrests were made, he said.
The police department's Real Time Crime Center used the computer program to measure a dozen offenses over the past five years.
Motor vehicle theft showed the biggest decline, a 51 percent drop in 2012 when measured against the averages since 2007.
Residential burglaries dropped from 672 offenses in 2007 to 466 occurrences in 2012, a 25 percent reduction.
Aggravated assaults that did not involve weapons increased by about 36 percent, and retail theft rose by about 15 percent.
The reduction in crime is a result of improved data analysis, as well as efforts by Ogden police, Harvey said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
"The overarching reason for the drop in numbers from 2007 to 2012 is that officers are proactively policing areas that have been identified as high-crime areas," he said.
"After analyzing the days, times and places where crimes occur, we can better focus on an area and even stop crimes before they happen. As administrators of the department, we place expectations for performance on the officers, and since we now have better analytics, it is easier for them to deliver.
"The bottom-line result is a safer community."
Harvey said analyzed crime data is packaged and sent to the police department's officers and to other law enforcement agencies for development of an enforcement plan.