Crime reports show problems new and old in rural Middle Georgia counties
(Jones County/Crawford County)-- WGXA is looking at crime statistics for county Sheriff Offices in Middle Georgia. This report focuses on Jones and Crawford counties.
Overall crime is down in both Jones and Crawford County. In Jones County they've seen a decrease in rape, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft. Crawford County has also seen a decrease in burglary, damage to property, driving under the influence, fraud and theft.
But one thing that is up in Crawford County is dangerous drug offenses. They've had 14 more this year than in 2015.
“Drugs are probably the most increased crime in any county in the state of Georgia,” said Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker.
He said it can hard to target the suppliers for drug dealers.
“These people provide or sell to people in different counties and they’ll come over and make their drop they get paid they gone,” Walker said.
Sheriff Walker said drug use then contributes to other crimes.
“Drugs lead to thefts and burglaries and all that because a person who is strung out on drugs, he’s going to do what he’s got to do to supply his habit,” Walker said.
Major Earl Humphries with the Jones County Sheriff's Office says they also have a problem with people getting the drugs from out of town.
“Most of our drug problem consists of someone going outside the county to acquire the drugs and bringing them back in,” Humphries said.
Humphries says the county has also fallen victim to a truly 21st century crime.
“What’s really significant in this day and age is the identity thefts or larceny we have seen an uptick, not just this year but the last several years in crimes against the elderly,” Humphries said.
Major Humphries says if you get a call with an offer that's too good to be true, it probably is. He said they're using social media to get the word out to people so others don't fall prey to scammers trying to steal your identity.
But Humphries said the best tool they have to fight crime is you.
“Jones county has, the sheriff’s department here has really enjoyed a good relationship with the community and that feedback we get from the community has greatly helped all our crime suppression efforts," he said.
Sheriff Walker says that's something they want to improve next year.
“And that’s something that we will be going out into our community in 2017 and being more involved with the community, and getting them to understand our role as law enforcement personnel her in Crawford County and where they will get comfortable in calling us when they see these activities going on in their area,” Walker said.