New numbers on crime in Rochester for the first half of the year have just been released. The police chief is reporting some progress, but he says there's a lot more work to be done
Both Chief Jim Sheppard and Mayor Tom Richards emphasized that while they are pleased by a general downward trend in overall crime so far this year, there are still too many violent incidents and other types of crimes in the city.
The six-month report just released shows that overall crime was down nearly nine percent so far this year. That includes a nearly 24 percent reduction in homicides compared to this time last year. But one trouble spot, according to Chief Sheppard, is robberies, which have risen more than 14 percent.
He says the proliferation of smart phones and other types of cell phones is probably one reason for that
“Everybody has one, we have a number of youth who get robbed now that wouldn't traditionally be robbed because they don't have money, they don't have credit cards but they have a phone, and that phone has value."
Sheppard praised city residents who he says have come forward in increasing numbers to provide tips that help solve crimes, and he urged more of that participation in the future.