Following a crackdown on illegal immigration, officials in Prince William County in northern Virginia are reporting their numbers reveal a significant decrease in violent crimes committed.
The violent crime rate in Prince William County plummeted 22 percent in 2008, according to new reports.
In recent years, the county had experienced a steady influx of illegal immigrants that led to its development of one of the most aggressive immigration policies in the nation.
Last week, Prince William County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane presented the department’s 2008 crime statistics, pointing out that the overall crime fell well below the five-year average.
Robbery decreased by 8 percent and aggravated assault fell by 36.5 percent in 2008.
Deane said the statistics are not entirely accurate because crimes committed on illegal immigrants may not be reported. He stressed that the police department will continue to protect all victims of crimes, regardless of their immigration status.
A 2008 crime statistics report says that the number of violent crimes in Prince William County have plummeted almost 22 percent from 2007.
Officials say violent crime dropped primarily because there were fewer robberies and aggravated assaults. Police Chief Charlie Deane also credits the decrease to more cases in which the suspect is arrested, charged and prosecuted.
The report also says that a marginal percentage of arrests involved illegal immigrants during the first 10 months of the county’s illegal immigration enforcement policy.
Almost 2 percent of those arrested or given a summons were in the country illegally, the report says.
It says that nearly 87 percent of those believed to be illegal immigrants were arrested on misdemeanor or traffic charges, and 9 percent on felony charges.