Increase in serious crimes concerns residents, police in Alton -

Increase in serious crimes concerns residents, police in Alton

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
ALTON, Ill. ( -

An increase in several categories of serious crimes is raising concerns of police and residents in Alton.

From 2014 to 2015, there was a 60 percent increase in sex offenses, a 50 percent increase in arson and a 20 percent increase in burglary. However, the number of murders, assaults and car thefts are down.

Despite the numbers, Alton police say the city safe even though some positions within the police department have been eliminated due to budget cuts. 57 officers are currently on the force, the smallest number of officers the department has had in several decades.

An Alton resident told News 4 she does not feel safe in her own city anymore. Another resident said she wants to see a regular police presence.

Police say most of the increased crime is connected to drug activity. As a result, the police department says it has reorganized its drug unit and arrested more drug offenders.

News 4 reached out to the Alton Police Department for a comment on the crime stats, but nobody was available for an on-camera interview.

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