Salisbury’s crime rate decreases at rapid pace

If it seems like crime is down in Salisbury and the city is becoming safer, a new national report confirms that feeling.

Saying he’s pleased that a study indicates Salisbury is becoming safer faster than any other city in the country, Mayor Jake Day this week credited Police Chief Barbara Duncan and her force.

Salisbury had the fastest drop in the crime rate in the country from 2002 to 2016, according to a study by Your Local Security, an ADT alarm system company.

“People remember in the 2006-2009 time frame we had some significantly high crime rates. Over a decade they have gone down. What’s amazing is, they have gone down faster than any place in the country. That’s what makes this impressive. What it means is this is good for our citizens,” Day told the Salisbury Independent.

“We will always have crime, but we have better detection. Our police officers are doing a great job chasing down crime, chasing down criminals and having a heavy patrol presence,” Day said.

The study was detailed in a news release that stated Your Local Security “dug into 10 years’ worth of crime data to definitively figure out which cities are becoming safer, and which cities are becoming more dangerous.”

“We came across an interesting finding … cities that saw a rapid increase in crime experienced a decrease in population. Not only is crime increasing, but also their crimes per capita,” it stated.

The report, released last month, also states Charleston, W.Va., is experiencing the fastest rise in all crime.

Cities becoming more dangerous are also decreasing in population.

“Cities becoming safer are experiencing less crime across the board. They’re experiencing less violent crime, murder, robberies, assault, larceny, arson and vehicle theft,” the study states.

The study is the result of analyzing FBI crime statistics from 2006 to 2016, excluding cities if they were missing any year or crime data and if their population was below the state median.

The time period studied for Salisbury – 2002 to 2016 – “spans three mayors,” Day said.

“Most of that time has been during Barbara Duncan’s leadership, the decisions she has made, priorities she has focused on.

“When I was on the City Council we put 10 more police officers on the street. The focus is on community policing, building trust, building relationships, and that is all thanks to Barb,” Day said of the Police Chief

Day also credited predictive policing, which, he explained, isn’t citizens picking up the phone and reporting incidents, but officers knowing they have to be in a certain area at a certain time.

For the national study, rape numbers were not included because the definition of rape was changed by law enforcement agencies between 2006 and 2016.

Cities were not taken into consideration if they were missing any year or crime data, if the population from those cities were below the median population in the state, or if there were changes in the state or local agency’s reporting practices. A total of 3,483 US cities were evaluated.

These cities earned a spot in the Top 25 because they experienced the greatest decrease in criminal activity for the six types of crime we measured. The city with the most improvement from 2006 to 2016 is Salisbury, MD. It improved substantially in several areas, including a 100 percent decrease in arson and 63 percent decrease in burglary.

  1. Salisbury, Maryland
  2. Riviera Beach, Florida
  3. Norristown, Pennsylvania
  4. Saginaw, Michigan
  5. Princeton, West Virginia
  6. Ypsilanti, Michigan
  7. North Little Rock, Arkansas
  8. Florence, South Carolina
  9. Dallas, Texas
  10. Easton, Pennsylvania
  11. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  12. Humboldt, Tennessee
  13. Toppenish, Washington
  14. Reading, Pennsylvania
  15. Youngstown, Ohio
  16. Eloy, Arizona
  17. Newport, Kentucky
  18. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  19. Three Rivers, Michigan
  20. Irvington, New Jersey
  21. Flagstaff, Arizona
  22. Sacramento, California
  23. Conway, South Carolina
  24. North Charleston, South Carolina
  25. Allentown, Pennsylvania


These 25 cities have increased in all types of crime over the past decade. Charleston, W.Va., tops the list with double the arson counts from 2006 to 2016 and more than 200 additional cases of violent crime — even with a population decrease. In fact, several of the bottom 10 cities have had a decrease in population, which means their crimes per capita have increased all the more dramatically.
1. Charleston, West Virginia
2. Hayti, Missouri
3. Kodiak, Alaska
4. Marion, Arkansas
5. Cleveland Heights, Ohio
6. Sweetwater, Tennessee
7. Scottsville, Kentucky
8. Bastrop, Texas
9. Lumberton, North Carolina
10. Port Lavaca, Texas
11. Kyle, Texas
12. Alma, Michigan
13. Brinkley, Arkansas
14. Gonzales, Louisiana
15. Trinidad, Colorado
16. Hohenwald, Tennessee
17. Sweetwater, Texas
18. Bethel, Alaska
19. Stilwell, Oklahoma
20. Clarkston, Washington
21. Pueblo, Colorado
22. Burkburnett, Texas
23. Portland, Texas
24. Brown Deer, Wisconsin
25. Aiken, South Carolina


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