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Active police presence: NPD report says crime fell in 2018


NEDERLAND — Crime decreased in the city in 2018, according to the police department’s annual report.

Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter presented the report to the City Council during an open meeting this week.

The report showed drop offs in burglaries, thefts, criminal mischiefs and assaults.

Thefts fell from 210 to 156 from 2017 to 2018. Burglaries fell from 262 to 142. Criminal mischiefs fell from 102 to 78 and assaults fell from 264 to 233.

“I think [the lower numbers] are a result of a couple of things,” Porter said. “We are trying to have a larger police presence at night. If you drive around, you’ll see us out there stopping vehicles.

“We’re not always writing tickets, but the more you stop vehicles, you can deter some of that stuff.”

Porter said numbers sometimes fluctuate due to no fault or credit of the police. For instance, Nederland did not have a murder in 2015 or 2016, but had one murder case in 2018 stemming from a domestic dispute. A second murder case in Beauxart Gardens was not in the report.

Car burglaries fell from 179 to 92.

“Sometimes, you have one group going around doing the vehicle burglaries,” Porter said. “You can have one group do 30 of them and when you catch them, the number goes down.”

Credit card and debit card abuse jumped from 26 to 40 in 2018. Porter said the increase was largely due to skimmers placed on gas pumps to steal credit card information. The police chief said he wants to further educate the community about detecting skimmers.

“Most of it is just being aware of your surroundings,” he said. “You can shake the things a little bit to see if it falls off. We had a lady the other day find one at a gas station. When she pulled her card out, the skimmer fell off.”

Porter said he also wants to put more of an emphasis on deterring drinking and driving even though all of the numbers were down in that area.

“A lot of people are worried about terrorism and rapists or people burglarizing their homes,” he said. “You should be aware and prepare for those things, but if you’re going to lose a loved one it’s more likely to happen because of a drunk driver.”

Porter said he wants to maintain an active police presence in the community.

“If people see there is an active police presence, they are more likely to go to a place where there isn’t one,” he said.