The Gilbert Police Department released data that shows crime rates in Gilbert have decreased throughout 2020.
The data released by the Gilbert Police Department Thursday, Oct. 29, shows that total crimes including criminal homicide, rape, robbery, assault, commercial and residential burglary, and theft have decreased from 315 crimes in January to 234 in September.
(Gilbert Police Department crime report Jan. 1 - Oct. 29, 2020)
The most frequent crime in Gilbert is aggravated and simple assault, totaling 1,517 reported cases in 2020 according to the GDP chart.
Assault makes up about 45 percent of crimes in Gilbert, while theft and burglary including theft from vehicles total to 43 percent of crimes.
Although assault crimes are steadily rising, with total crime decreasing, Gilbert is still considered one of the safest towns in the U.S.
Last year, the FBI's 2019 Uniform Crime Report identified Gilbert as the second safest town in the U.S.
"The Gilbert Police Department's success in keeping Gilbert safe could not be possible without the department's dedicated employees who serve and protect our community and the support, relationships and involvement of our residents and businesses," Brenda Carrasco, Gilbert Police Department Digital Media and Marketing representative stated in an email response regarding Gilbert's second safest ranking by the FBI.
According to a third-party data source, Neighborhood Scout, the chance of becoming a victim of crime in Gilbert is 1 in 71.
Desiree Cunningham-Stanton, a Client Implementation and Data Delivery representative for Neighborhood Scouts, said in an email that data comes from annual crime data reports by the FBI.
"That kind of surprises me," Diane Pettit, a Gilbert resident who has lived in the town for thirty-five years said after hearing that crime rates have decreased over the past year.
Due to social media, and neighborhood safe apps, she has downloaded Pettit gets notifications of crimes in Gilbert often.
Crime reports in Gilbert are on social media almost every day and because of that she was surprised that crime had gone down, says Pettit.
In total, Gilbert has 38 social media accounts residents can follow for information and daily updates.
"I think in your mind you think there's a lot more crime than there is," Pettit said.
In 35 years of living in Gilbert the only major crime she witnessed was having her car stolen from her garage in 2000, says Pettit.
"We had our car stolen right from our garage once," Pettit said. Aside from the car incident Pettit reports feeling safe living in Gilbert. "I think it's basically safe," Pettit said.
Erik Spletter, a Gilbert resident who has lived in Gilbert for 28 years says he is surprised that Gilbert's crime has decreased. "I'm pleasantly surprised. It makes me glad I live in Gilbert," Spletter said.
"The statistics bear out, the police must be doing a good job," Spletter said.
Gilbert Police have increased their presence on Gilbert and Warner roads on Thursday nights due to weekly protests by police supporters and Black Lives Matter supporters.
"I don't like it at all," Pettit said. Traffic gets backed up and too much money is spent on it, says Pettit.
"I was shocked about the amount of money we spent to have our police officers over there," Pettit said referring to a recent report from Community Impact stating that $700,000 has been spent by the GPD to have officers present.
According to an email statement by Carrasco "The Gilbert Police Department implemented additional measures to keep all participants safe at the Thursday gatherings, including increasing staffing levels and using barricades to keep participants on opposite sides to limit potential confrontations."
The GPD has had officers present at the protests since they began in June.