New Henrico crime stats show a county divided

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) – Crime is down overall in Henrico County, but the two districts in the county’s east end continue to experience the highest amount of violent crime by a large margin, according to new crime statistics released by the Henrico Police Department.

Eastern districts Varina and Fairfield hold just 40 percent of the county’s population, yet account for 66 percent of violent crimes in the county. Those are numbers the county’s police chief is working to change.

Crime numbers actually increased in Varina in 2013 compared to 2012.

Burglary, motor vehicle thefts, aggravated assault, and rape offenses are all up from 2012.

Emmanuel Harris lives in Varina and wants his son to grow up in a safe, healthy environment.

But he wonders if his slice of Henrico County gets enough police resources.

“We just want the same resources, the same effort dedicated to this side of town as the other side of town,” Harris said.

In neighboring Fairfield, crime decreased a bit, but that district still has the highest number of crime offenses of all five districts.

Police Chief Douglas Middleton said higher offense totals can mean progress.

“When you’re effectively policing crime, numbers can go up,” Middleton said.

Chief Middleton said his department will devote more resources to Fairfield and Varina, especially along their border with the City of Richmond, as part of a new initiative unveiled to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday night.

“My objective here is to give them all the tools, all the training, all the resources we have available to make a difference in those areas where we have hot spots and to address crime,” Middleton said.

Another part of that plan, a new command station.

Now Fairfield and Varina each have a command station, while the three districts with the lowest crime rates, Brookland, Three Chopt, and Tuckahoe, share one.

“What we’re hoping will happen is you’ll see an improvement in crime there, in terms of the numbers you’re seeing, the amount of violent crime that is occurring,” Middleton said.Crime is down overall in Henrico County, but the two districts in the county’s east end continue to experience the highest amount of violent crime by a large margin, according to new crime statistics released by the Henrico Police Department.

They are changes Harris said just make sense.

“If you know that crime happens in certain areas, just patrol those areas,” Harris said.