Major crime in the , which covers much of the Massapequas, declined by nearly 6 percent in 2010 compared with the previous year, led by a decrease in robbery, assault and auto theft, according to year-end statistics recently released by police.
The total number of incidents reported to police dropped 5.6 percent, from 283 in 2009 to 267 last year, police said.
Major crime comprises murder, first-degree rape, robbery, burglary, felonious assault and auto theft.
Crime dipped in all categories except rape, which went from two to three, and residential burglary, which increased from 91 to 99, Seventh Precinct statistics show.
Robbery fell from 45 to 40, felonious assault from 35 to 29 and auto theft from 49 to 38.
Burglaries other than those committed in homes showed a slight decline from 61 to 58.
Precinct-wide, there were no murders reported in either 2009 or 2010.
Inspector Mary Blanthorn, commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct, said the entire county has seen a decrease in major crime over the past two years.
“You would not think that would be happening with the way the economy has been going,” she said. “It’s good news. It’s due to the fine work and effort of members of our Police Department.”
Blanthorn said the Seventh Precinct takes a proactive approach to crime patterns that develop, analyzing any trouble spots in the precinct and addressing them immediately.
“What we do is we examine all major crimes and we try to determine the best places to put our resources,” said Blanthorn, whose precinct has 139 patrol officers who can be strategically deployed within the vast boundaries of the Seventh.
In addition toMassapequa, East Massapequa, North Massapequa and Massapequa Park, the Seventh Precinct also covers Bellmore, Merrick, Wantagh and Seaford.
“If, for instance, we see a pattern developing in Wantagh, we will flood the area with police officers,” said Blanthorn, who has been in charge of the Seventh Precinct since December 2008. “We want to get out in front of the trend.”
She said the increase in residential burglaries can be, in large part, attributed to the harsh economy, which would usually be responsible for “an uptick in those larceny-type crimes.”
But the police have already made inroads against the hike in residential burglaries and the numbers are starting to go down again, she said.
In addressing crime patterns, Blanthorn said police officers work with detectives to determine where those crimes are occurring. They then conduct “field stops” of those who are loitering in a particular neighborhood and are acting suspiciously. Police also are on the lookout for traffic law violators, who are then stopped and their licenses and ID checked.
“We want to know why they are hanging around the neighborhood,” she said. “We try to stay on top of what is happening.”
In an attempt to prevent crime, officers from the precinct’s problem-oriented policing unit attend community meetings and advise homeowners how to best protect their homes.
“They tell them how to secure their homes and educate the homeowner, the public and the community,” Blanthorn said.
In addition, the officers have been urging drivers to secure their cars when they park them.
“There have been a lot of thefts out of cars and sometimes they take loose change and sunglasses, but thieves have also been taking computers and pocketbooks,” Blanthorn said. “We want to educate people to keep their doors locked. Many thieves would rather not break a window so they look for cars that are left open.”