Crime increases in Chico after Camp Fire

In Tuesday's city council meeting, police chief Mike O'Brien reported that crime has indeed gone up in the city post-Camp Fire.

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 11:28 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2019 10:03 AM

CHICO, Calif. - In Tuesday's city council meeting, police chief Mike O'Brien reported that crime has indeed gone up in the city post-Camp Fire.

Chief O'Brien said his department would have had 10 to 20 years to prepare for the kind of impact his city had after the Camp Fire, but his department only had 10 hours.

He broke down the stats for crime in Chico post-Camp Fire. 

According to the department, arrests have gone up by 6 percent and citations have gone up by 36 percent since January of 2018. 

The chief broke down stats in Chico for violent crime per month. He said there were huge increases in the first part of 2017 to 2018. This happened in the summer months, but overall O'Brien said it was concerning that each month has had an increase.

The data showed crime trends during the weekdays. The chief explained how his department has adjusted.

"We look at that from a data-driven approach and adjusted start times for patrol officers and added patrol shifts and subtracted based on calls for services based on crimes in the new reality," O'Brien said.  

He took a look at part one violent crime specifically after the Camp Fire.

Rape, robbery and aggravated assault increased last year, but O'Brien said overall part one violence went up last year, unrelated to the Camp Fire.

He also said on average, his department gets about 400 calls for service a day since the Camp Fire.

City manager Mark Orme said he didn't blame a rise in crime on Camp Fire survivors. He said crime issues weren't attributable to people from Paradise. He said the city was happy to host its neighbors.

O'Brien also looked at the number of violent crimes by month in Chico in 2017 and 2018. Those results are in the graph below. 

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