Curry County doesn’t have it so bad when it comes to crime, with a new state report showing it doesn’t even rank in the top 20 of Oregon’s 36 counties.
The worst, according to the 2017 annual report of criminal offenses and arrests, was Jackson County, with 28,874 crimes, or 13,312 for every 100,000 residents.
Other neighboring counties cracked the top 10, as well, with Coos County ranking third with 7,713 crimes in a population of 63,310; Douglas County taking eighth place with 10,306 crimes in a population of 111,180, and Josephine County ranking ninth, with 7,443 in a population of 16,750.
The Curry County sheriff’s office reported in the previous 12 months ending in May only 25 crimes against persons, which includes felonies such as murder, forcible rape, kidnapping and aggravated assault.
Of note was one forcible rape and three aggravated assaults.
In the category “crimes against property,” Curry County Sheriff’s tackled 122 cases, including 42 burglaries, 40 larcenies, 11 motor vehicle thefts, 15 reports of vandalism and seven of fraud. There were 34 behavioral crimes, which include DUIIs and those related to drugs.
Brookings reported 38 “simple assaults,” 13 aggravated assaults, six forcible rape incidents, 12 “other” sex crimes and 25 “other criminal threats.
Crimes against property, however, were much higher than those in unincorporated areas. Larceny, including theft and robbery, totalled generated 71 reports in Brookings, followed by 28 cases of vandalism, 23 cases of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, 18 or fraud and 18 burglaries.
Under behavioral crimes, Brookings netted 53 DUIIs — and 51 arrests in those cases — 38 disorderly conducts, 40 related to drugs, five related to weapons and 15 to alcohol.
Gold Beach reported 10 simple assaults and 19 “other” criminal threats in the category of crimes against people. There were 37 incidents of larceny reported, 19 of vandalism, four arson cases, and six burglary and fraud cases.
The city also reported 12 DUIIs and two drug-related charges.
The numbers don’t always reflect the true volume of calls, as many classifications are specific to certain crimes and reporting agencies are strapped for time and resources to report all but the most heinous of crimes, the report indicates.
Also, because the reports only run through May 2018, they don’t include the increase in crimes that occurred after the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a ruling that made it unconstitutional to oust homeless people from sleeping on public property.
Curry County, and in particular, Brookings, saw a dramatic increase in nuisance crimes related to drug and alcohol use, vandalism among other incidences.