Last week, the New Rochelle Police Department released its annual report, with a detailed look at criminal conduct within our community. The report contains good news and bad news.

The good news is that New Rochelle remains very safe, measured both by historical standards and in comparison to similar cities around the country. In fact, out of sixty municipalities nation-wide with roughly the same population, New Rochelle’s crime rate is among the five lowest.

The bad news is that Part I crimes rose by 21% year-to-year. Part of that increase is attributable to a new method for tabulating aggravated assaults, but even accounting for this change, the total numbers show an uptick, driven mainly by larcenies.

Obviously, I am not happy about any increase in crime, but I also put these figures in the context of an overall safety record that remains very strong. It will be important to examine patterns of criminal conduct going forward to ensure that the spike in 2011 is not the beginning of a trend. To this end, the New Rochelle PD constantly monitors crime stats and directs resources accordingly.

The full report contains much more information.