Despite Being a Safe County, Loudouners are Urged to Stay Vigilant

Despite+Being+a+Safe+County%2C+Loudouners+are+Urged+to+Stay+Vigilant

Written by Melissa Stuckey, The Woodgrove Outlander

Loudoun is an affluent and relatively safe county where citizens often don’t realize how much crime actually goes on around them. Over the last decade, the crime rate has spasmodically changed, prompting officers to caution residents to remain alert.

Over the last three years, Western Loudoun has continued to be the area in Loudoun County with the lowest crime rates. Between 2013 and 2014, the crime rate dropped by 16%, but it rose 15% the next year. Crime fell due to a decrease in rape, burglary, and larceny, but rose to almost an equal amount in 2014 because of a sharp increase of auto theft, burglary, and destruction of property. Even as the population continues to grow, Loudoun is able to maintain a relatively stable environment.

Western Loudoun prides itself on having the lowest crime statistics in Northern Virginia, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have crime. 2013 showed a big jump in assault and theft-related crimes. Over half of the crimes committed in this area were larceny, simple assault, and destruction of property.

Woodgrove High School’s Deputy David Goss explained that theft from vehicles is his biggest concern for the citizens. The past few years have shown residents becoming less vigilant and more careless. Without this worry, people forget to lock their doors, garages, or cars, allowing easy access to grabbing anything from inside. Goss said that criminals are not just stealing valuable items anymore but often grab whatever they see.

“Report crime, lock stuff up, and maintain personal space and property,” Goss advices to help reduce the risk of having property stolen. “Crimes even happen at school at least two times a week, so keep your things close to you and beware of the dangers that are out there.”

Kraig Troxell, the Public Information Officer for the Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office said, “Especially in summer, people become more careless and leave stuff unlocked. Make sure to lock up your belongings and report crime—anything suspicious, no matter if you think it is something important or not.”

In addition to property crime, vehicle related incidents also present a danger to local residents. Although vehicle incidents as a whole have decreased over the last five years, the amount of people in Loudoun charged with driving under the influence has increased from 209 to 263 over the last four years. Deputy Goss especially warns against drunk-driving and texting while driving, and encourages everyone to be wary during their travels.

Since January 1, 2016, Leesburg Sherriff’s Office has received over 4,000 calls and has made 1385 arrests. Police in Loudoun get summoned most often to calls of domestic disturbances, suicidal behaviors, or reports of suspicious people.