Missouri State Highway Patrol each year compiles reported crime data at county and local levels. The Mexico Ledger has reviewed crime statistics from the past 10 years and found that criminal activity, overall, has decreased.

“I think it’s (down to) the quality of policing we’re doing here,” said Mexico Public Safety Chief Susan Rockett. “We’re running out grounders and making a lot of good solid arrests that the prosecutor turns into convictions.”

Between 2011-13, there was a spike crimes like aggravated assault, burglary, theft and property crimes, among others. Rockett wasn’t certain why there were increases during in those years but said it could have been a response to the economic downturn of 2008.

“It was a different environment than we’re in now, for sure. I think (crime) took off across the country,” Rockett said. “Everything that is happening in the world, has some sort of small reflection right here in Mexico. It’s just a matter of how we prevent and control what happens to us.”

In 2018, excepting December, the biggest crimes were larceny or thefts, and property crimes like vehicle break-ins.

When looking forward to 2019, Rockett said the department will continue working ahead to prevent crime in the community. “(In 2019) we’re going to do the same thing — some shoe leather and get the grounders run out so we’re stopping people. A lot of that — petty crimes and stuff like that — I call that dragon’s teeth. As soon as we pick those people up, you know other people jump in right behind them,” Rockett said.

A big portion of crime prevention ultimately falls on residents following department recommendations, she said, such as making sure doors are locked on your home or your vehicle and valuables aren’t visible in a vehicle. Rockett said unlocked doors are often contribute to the occurrence of such crimes.