From The Tribune staff reports
CENTER POINT — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported crime statistics, comparing 2019 and 2020, showing violent crime numbers decreased overall.
In Jefferson County, there was a 14% decrease in violent crimes. Sheriff Mark Pettway said the biggest change was seen in the Center Point community. Homicides in the Center Point area, including the cities of Clay and Pinson and unincorporated areas of eastern Jefferson County, were down 43% in 2020.
“Overall violent crime was down about 27%”, said Pettway. “We owe a great deal of this improvement to our citizens. They continue to be engaged and keep us aware of what is happening.”
In 2019, the sheriff’s office investigated 14 murders in the Center Point area. In 2020, there were eight homicides investigated.
There was an increase in the Bessemer area and the sheriff said his office is working to curb crime there. Still, the number of violent crimes was more in the Center Point area than in Bessemer. The grand total in the Center Point area was 1,797 while the Bessemer area, which includes Fairfield, had a grand total of 1,567 violent crimes reported.
“By continuing to bridge the gap between the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens, we will achieve that goal”, added Sheriff Pettway.
Crimes calculated included arson, assault, burglary, murder, rape, robbery, theft, unlawful breaking and entering of vehicles and vehicle theft. The chart below shows the numbers provided by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.