The total number of crimes committed in Matthews dropped five percent during the first quarter of 2009 when compared to the first quarter of 2008. The number of crimes dropped from 551 to 523.

Violent crime in Matthews remains extremely low (they accounted for 14 of the 523 total crimes reported.) There were no murders or rapes reported during this period. Additionally, larcenies (down 16%), burglaries (down 3%), and auto thefts (down 50%) also declined.

“Our officers work diligently everyday to prevent crime – not just to respond to it. This proactive approach continues to aid us as we work to decrease the number of crimes in our town. We aggressively work to identify and investigate crime trends in the hopes that we will continue to lower the crime rate in Matthews. While any criminal activity is unacceptable we are pleased that the number of crimes has dropped this year,” commented Matthews Police Chief Rob Hunter.

The number of domestic related calls rose 30% this quarter – most likely as a result of economic pressures on families. Matthews Police Officers work with a number of local domestic violence organizations to aid these families as well as receive training on how to respond to these situations.

The number of automobile accidents dropped from 16 percent from 411 to 346. The department has been focusing on identifying impaired and dangerous drivers and this is reflected in the increase in DWI/alcohol arrests which rose 16 percent.

Animal Control is now under the auspices of the Police Department and there were 209 animal related calls in the first quarter. This includes aggressive animals, barking complaints, and animal welfare checks. 822 pet licenses were issued.