LCPD Releases 2011 Annual Crime Report - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LCPD Releases 2011 Annual Crime Report

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Felix Obrien has lived in an apartment complex on 1st Avenue for two years and speaks from experience when he says crime in this area is no stranger. 

"I had my car broken into once" said Obrien.  "They took nothing but my flashlight and the batteries on the inside of the car" he said.

With Broad Street to the north, Sallier to the south and 1st Avenue to the west, Obrien lives in what Lake Charles Police would identify as beat six, the beat identified as one of the worst according to the 2011 Annual Crime report released today.

"We know we have a problem in beat six so we're going to deal with it" said Chief of Police, Don Dixon.  "We're going to be proactive.  We're going to intensify patrol... we're going to saturate that area" Dixon added.

The report is broken down by crime classification and geographic region, but shows that in the Lake Charles area, overall crime is up by 1.4 percent.  An increase that Dixon says comes and goes. 

"We're up a little bit but you have to understand that the year before we were down significantly so we figured we're going to have a little you know 1.4 percent is... you know things just go in cycles" said Chief Dixon.

For a resident like Obrien who has seen change, the increase doesn't bother him either.

"It's gotten a little better, it's still a little noisy... but it's better now" Obrien said. 

One statistic that is surprising to Chief Dixon and the Lake Charles Police Department, is the number of crimes committed by and against juveniles. 

One way they plan on lowering crime numbers within that demographic is the enforcement of a curfew as we roll into the beginning of summer… An effort that has been seen before.

"We've seen a spike in juvenile arrest in Lake Charles" said Chief Dixon.  "We've seen what we consider some gang activity …we're going to identify certain groups and go out there and try to target them" he said. 

Other numbers in the report show that in 2011, crimes against persons were up 14 percent and property crimes up 5 percent, but Chief Dixon is confident that stronger patrolling and the enforcement of the juvenile curfew will help see those numbers decrease.  As for the curfew, no date has been set for it to begin, but KPLC will be following it and bringing you all the latest information.

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