Lake Charles crime declines in 2010

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The City of Lake Charles saw an overall decline in criminal offenses for the year 2010 according to the Lake Charles Police Annual Crime Report.

The number of overall criminal offenses throughout Lake Charles dropped 15.5% since the year 2009. The total of criminal offenses went from 11,925 in 2009 to 10,073 in 2010.

Crimes against persons dropped 18.1% in 2010. These crimes include murder, rape, robbery, and assault/battery.

Crimes against property also a saw a decline with a 12.8% drop since 2009. These crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, vehicle theft, and arson.

The total of other criminal offenses dropped 18.5%. These crimes include criminal damage, disturbing the peace, drug offenses, DWIs, and weapon offenses.

Overall criminal offenses increased in only 2 out of 19 beats in Lake Charles. Beat 2 had an increase of 23% and Beat 5 increased 12% in criminal activity.

Lake Charles Police credit their proactive approach in law enforcement for the decline in criminal activity throughout the city.

"When we see a hot spot in the city, we put proactive policing there," said Chief Don Dixon with Lake Charles Police. "We put proactive teams in that area and it pays off."

The highest beat for crime in Lake Charles is located in Beat 6. This beat includes areas near the corner of Broad Street and 1st Avenue between 12th Street and Hillcrest Drive.

Beat 6 had 1,235 criminal offenses for the year 2010. Despite a 19% decline in criminal activity in Beat 6, residents still feel their neighborhood has a long way to go.

"They do a good job of patrolling the area, but they need to open their eyes more clearer and see what is really going on," said Raven Lawden, a resident in Beat 6.

Lake Charles Police plan to continue using a proactive approach in all high crime rated areas in the city. Authorities have already begun the implementing this practice in the two beats that saw an increase in criminal activity within the last year.