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      Amarillo Police Department crime statistics show 5 percent decrease in 2012

      Amarillo Police Department released its crime statistics for 2012, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

      Overall, the crime rate in 2012 was down 5% from 2011. The largest decreases were in arson (23.9%) and larceny theft (9.5%). The largest increase in crime was in the offense of robbery (18.3%), or 43 more offenses over the one year reporting period.

      Chief Robert Taylor of APD says the Department's use of directed crime patrol was a contributing factor in the decrease over overall crime.

      "Directed patrol is basically taking officers out of their assigned duties, sometimes it's in paid overtime through grant money and just built into the budget, that we will put those officers in what we call hotspot criminal areas where we've seen an increase of criminal activity," says Cpl. Jerry Neufeld of Amarillo P.D.

      In the past three years, the statistic say serious crimes are down 20%. Although serious crimes are reportedly down 5 percent, most of that number can be attributed to the decrease in arson.

      "That percentage because you're still looking at an overall, not a lot of numbers. We're looking at 16 offences over a 12-month period. It's a little over 1 a month. Even taking those out of the equation, our percentages, it's obviously going to be affected , " says Neufeld.

      A large percentage of the robberies can be classified as "personal robberies". Authorities have noticed a trend in these cases, citing that in most reported incidents, there is a connection between the victim and the suspect.

      For more information on Amarillo Police Department, and their efforts to reduce crime, go to http://police.amarillo.gov/.