Upper Arlington Police Chief Brian Quinn said the city saw a "gradual reduction" in most criminal activities in 2012.

Upper Arlington Police Chief Brian Quinn said the city saw a "gradual reduction" in most criminal activities in 2012.

Quinn presented a report of criminal and Upper Arlington Police Division activities for 2012 to Upper Arlington City Council May 20.

For the most part, the report indicated crimes in the community dropped slightly last year.

Those statistics were factors in Upper Arlington being ranked the 88th-safest city in America by NeighborhoodScout, a division of Location Inc., which ranks safety in cities with populations of 25,000 or more, based on crimes such as burglary, theft, murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery.

"We saw a gradual reduction," Quinn said. "We saw a decline in almost every statistical category."

According to the report, the Upper Arlington Police Division investigated 1,045 crimes in 2012, which was down from 1,115 in 2011 and 1,180 in 2010.

Among crimes which saw decreases last year were arson (six in 2011, two in 2012), assault (36 in 2011, 25 in 2012), burglary (176 in 2011, 78 in 2012), criminal damage (137 in 2011, 121 in 2012) and domestic violence (18 in 2011, 12 in 2012).

Crimes which saw an uptick in activity in 2012 included auto theft (16 in 2011, 18 in 2012), drug abuse (35 in 2011, 57 in 2012), fraud (105 in 2011, 110 in 2012), sex offenses (three in 2011, six in 2012), and theft (434 in 2011, 458 in 2012).

Quinn said the increase in thefts in the community primarily has been related to vehicle break-ins or items stolen from unlocked vehicles, garages and homes.

"We continue to be vigilant and arrest these people and get them locked up," he said. "It's just a matter of keeping them locked up.

"A lot of it is accessibility. Even for stolen cars, (in) every single one of them, the keys were accessible.

"Lock your car doors. Lock your house. Don't make it easy for them."

Similarly, Quinn cautioned residents against providing information or home access to unfamiliar people. He said credit card skimming, as well as telephone and Internet scams, remain prevalent.

"We've seen a slight increase in frauds over the last five years, which could be attributed to more identity thefts," he said. "It could be that more people are paying attention to fraudulent activities and reporting them. "

Also down slightly in 2012 were traffic accidents and enforcement of traffic violations.

According to the report, Upper Arlington police responded to 471 accidents last year, compared to 524 in 2011 and 510 in 2010.

Enforcement totals for 2012 were 4,010 compared to 4,307 in 2011 and 4,642 in 2010.

Quinn said he didn't have a clear indicator as to why traffic issues decreased in 2012, but noted there was slight turnover within the division's patrol staff due to retirements.

"I would anticipate numbers for next year would probably go up because we're in a hiring phase," he said. "There's been some turnover with retirements.

"Hiring and training replacements, that takes considerable time. So, one or two officers can have an impact on enforcement."

After a jump in the number of arrests on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated from 139 in 2010 to 190 in 2011, local police made 189 OVI arrests last year.

"We have little tolerance in that area," Quinn said. "If the word is out, we're fine with that."

The annual report also recognized the UAPD's 2012 Officer of the Year, Brian Daron, and Civilian of the Year, UAPD Records Specialist Jacqueline Ackison.

Both awards are determined by UAPD employees.

Daron's 2012 accomplishments included making 60 arrests, including 45 OVI arrests. He also was credited for putting his life at risk while attempting to save a person sleeping inside a burning home on March 31, 2012, and his work with fellow officers to subdue and detain a man who broke into a local church and was threatening to harm himself Oct. 4, 2012.

Ackison was recognized for accepting broadened duties, including management of division payroll, billing, working as a police dispatcher and assisting other municipal departments with a variety of tasks.

Although nothing glaring came out of the report, Upper Arlington City Councilwoman Debbie Johnson said council will use the information to analyze trends in the city and to help determine budget appropriations relative to police equipment and staff.

"We noticed some kind of trends up and down," she said. "It helps us to just be aware of what's happening around us."