New Rock Hill police chief sets renewed focus on fighting violent crimes

Posted March 19, 2013 7:45 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

Former Chief John Gregory (L).
Current Chief Chris Watts (R).

Now more than 60 days into his new role as chief of the Rock Hill Police Department, Chris Watts says he’s taking a close look at the department’s yearly crime report.

Watts, a 25-year veteran of the department, said Tuesday that he’s keeping tabs on recent trends involving violent crimes in the city and encouraging a community based effort to help combat armed robberies.

Watts said, at times, its simple things like making sure convenience stores take steps to protect themselves and their customers.

The department’s most recent crime report shows that last year, homicides were at their highest since 2001, and incidents of robberies, shoplifting and auto thefts rose in 2012.

During the same time period, residential and commercial burglaries decreased, as were incidents of vandalism, weapons violations and Arson.

Additional specific notes highlighted in the department’s 2012 Crime Report:

  • ID theft was up 74.3% compared to 2001-2011 average and up 18.4% compared to last year; the  highest amount since 2008.
  • Drunk driving arrests were up 46% compared to the 2001-2011 average, and were up 27.3% from 2011. Officers made the most DUI arrests since 2001.
  • Vehicle break-ins were 32.5% down compared to 2001-2011 average.

For a full copy of the crime report, click here.