Sheriff’s report: Crime rose in 2007

NORWICH – There was an increase in major crimes and felony drug arrests in 2007, according to an annual report compiled by the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office.

Overall, law enforcement calls through the dispatch center went up 67 percent, from 11,934 in 2006 to 19,883.

One glaring statistic: There were five murders last year compared to zero in 2006.

“We’re experiencing a record number of calls,” said Undersheriff Ernest Cutting. “We’ve seen an increase in homicides and much more drug activity.”

Felony drug arrests for a controlled substance went from 2 in 2006 to 18 in 2007. Reported sex crimes were also up just over 50 percent, from 41 to 62.

Possible factors: “The economy is going to play a role,” said Cutting, adding that the demographics of the county are changing, with migrating urban populations entering the area. “Drug use is also going to play a role.”

Three of the five murders involved drugs or alcohol.

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