John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Crime Category

October 2020 Newtown Township Police Report

Credit Card Fraud, DUI, Criminal Mischief on the Rise!

In October 2020, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,476 total calls, 295 (20%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown and Wrightstown Townships). Note: Not all calls are listed. See the full report embedded at the end of this post or download the PDF version here.

Highlighted in the table below are calls that show a significant increase compared to 2019: Credit Card Fraud, DUI, Criminal Mischief, and narcotics. And 2020 is not over yet! These types of calls might be expected to have increased due to the financial and emotional stress due to COVID-19 even though during the red phase of lockdown - from the end of March to the 3rd week of May - calls were down significantly (see chart below).

Part 1 Crimes Are Up

Another way to look at crime in Newtown is to focus on serious crimes - so-called "Part I" offenses such as murder, manslaughter, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft.

In 2019 there was a total of 152 Part I crimes. We already reached that number at the end of October this year mostly due to an increase in Larceny/Theft, which totaled 103 in 2019 versus 118 this year through October (see table below).

From the Incident Blotter

November 4, 2020: The Newtown-Makefield Truck Enforcement Task Force conducted a Commercial Truck Detail on the Newtown Bypass and Campus Drive. Twelve trucks were stopped and inspected. As a result, ten violations were found. Two trucks were placed out of service, and three citations and seven warnings were issued overall.

November 3, 2020: At approximately 9:00 am a Newtown Township resident contacted police to report a fraud. He explained that he received a call from someone claiming to work for Social Security. The caller claimed to have a warrant for the resident’s arrest and gave him a case number. The resident recognized this as fraud but felt uneasy about the possibility of a warrant. Police confirmed that there were no warrants for him and advised that this is a common scam.

October 24, 2020: Newtown Township Police Department partook in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Event and accepted unused, unneeded, or expired medications at the Newtown Township Administration Building from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. In Bucks County, the grand collection total was 14,362 pounds. If you missed the event, no worries! You can still safely dispose of your medications at the collection box located in our police lobby. For more information, please contact us at (215) 579-1000

Full October 2020 Police Report

Posted on 09 Nov 2020, 16:05 - Category: Crime

February 2020 Newtown Township Police Report: Sycamore Street Burglaries, Mill Pond Road Traffic "Blitz Initiative," Harassment

Newtown Township Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for February 2020 at the March 11, 2020, Board of Supervisors meeting. The following is a summary. Note: Not all calls are listed. See the full report embedded at the end of this post or download the PDF version here.

In February 2020, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,563 total calls, 324 (21%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown and Wrightstown Townships).

Mill Pond Road Traffic "Blitz Initiative"

Chief Hearn reported that the police conducted a two-week traffic "blitz initiative" on Mill Pond Road after seeing posts on social media and after I inquired if any traffic calming measures could be implemented on that road at the February 12, 2020 BOS meeting. My inquiry was the result of discussions with residents at the February 10, 2020, Meet Mack Monday event. The initiative yielded the following:

  • TIME: Nearly 16 hours (955 mins) were dedicated at varied times
  • CONTACTS: 33
  • Citations: 28
  • Warnings: 5
Thefts & Burglaries Up

There 35 thefts and 7 burglaries in February. Four of the reported burglaries were commercial burglaries along Sycamore Street. An individual was apprehended and charged with those crimes.

Harassment

There were 5 calls for Harassment (UCR codes 2410 and 2450) in February as well as in January, 2020. Considering that the Newtown "Love is Love" resolution, which was passed just minutes before Chief Hearn's report (see here), states that according to the Peace Center, a non-profit educational organization based in Bucks County, reports that LGBTQ + minority youth in our community face harassment, violence and discrimination, I asked the Chief for more details. What, for example, constitutes “harassment” under these UCR codes? The Chief did not have those details and invited me to follow up with him after he reviewed the specific reports.

Full February 2020 Police Report

Posted on 15 Mar 2020, 01:51 - Category: Crime

January 2020 Newtown Township Police Report: Focus on Speeding and Accidents

Newtown Township Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for January 2020 at the February 12, 2020, Board of Supervisors meeting. The following is a summary. Note: Not all calls are listed. See the full report embedded at the end of this post or download the PDF version here.

In January 2020, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,601 total calls, 333 (21%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown and Wrightstown Townships).

Speeding and Accidents

Many Newtown residents are concerned about speeding and accidents (more accurately, "crashes"), especially considering that there was a fatal accident on the Bypass in January and a significant accident on Mill Pond Road in February. The Newtown Police Department issued a total of 178 traffic citations in January 2020. 46 (26%) of these were for speeding, especially on Durham Road and Newtown Bypass.

There were 46 traffic "crashes" in Newtown Township in January. Let's look at the number of accidents in Newtown from 2015 through 2019:

The accident report for June 2016 could not be found; the number
for 2019 is based on an estimated 34 accidents in June 2016

Despite a spike in the number of accidents in 2019, the trend is downward or at least it does not indicate a significant increase in traffic accidents over this 5-year period.

Full January 2020 Police Report

Posted on 14 Feb 2020, 11:25 - Category: Crime

Newtown Township Police 2019 Year-end Report: How Does 2019 Compare to 2018?

Newtown Township Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for December, 2019, at the January 8, 2020, Board of Supervisors meeting. The following is a summary. Note: Not all calls are listed. See the full (redacted) report embedded at the end of this post or download the PDF version here.

In December, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,398 total calls, 237 (17%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown and Wrightstown Townships).

The year-end report also compares the 2019 totals to the 2018 totals so we can see some trends. For example, there were 19,760 total calls in 2019 vs. 17,228 in 2018 - an increase of 13%. See below for more details on which types of calls were up and which were down in 2019 compared to 2018.
Selected Newtown Township Police Calls for Service. The yellow and green highlighted rows indicate significant increases or decreases, respectively, in calls in 2019 vs. 2018.
Traffic Citations Way Down

The Newtown Police Department issued a total of 63 traffic citations in Newtown Township in December 2019. Only 6 (10%) of these were for speeding, 4 of which were on Durham Road. It seems that the focus in December was on "Failure to Stop at Red Signal" violations. In December, 24 citations were issue for this violation, of which 17 (70%) were on Newtown Bypass. It is not known if running red lights was a factor in two recent crashes in January 2020 on the Bypass, one of which resulted in a death (read "Man Killed In Newtown Township Crash on the Bypass").

Traffic citations issued by the Newtown Police Department for the period
January through December, 2019. Although there were relatively few speeding violations issued in December 2019, the total number for 2019 (1,977) was 57% higher than for 2018 (1,256).
Some More Trends

A few trends from 2018 to 2019 were noted in the table above such as a 40% increase in domestic dispute related calls, a 58% increase in terrorist threat calls, and most disturbingly, a 41% increase in "Missing Adult/Juvenile" calls.

In December, there were 4 ChildLine referrals. These are 911 calls related to child abuse. ChildLine is part of a mandated statewide child protective services program designed to accept child abuse referrals and general child well-being concerns, and transmit the information quickly to the appropriate investigating agency. ChildLine is responsible for receiving verbal and electronic referrals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free hotline, 1-800-932-0313, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive reports of suspected child abuse.

Looking at the redacted December 2019 Report below, note that "Violence/Assaults" are up 34% in 2019 compared to 2018 (51 vs. 38) and Narcotics and Alcohol related calls decreased significantly.

Full (redacted) December 2019 Police Report

Posted on 11 Jan 2020, 01:40 - Category: Crime

November 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: Record Set for Struck Deer and Catalytic Converter Thefts Are A Thing These Days

Newtown Township Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for November 2019 at the December 11, 2019, Board of Supervisors meeting. The following is a summary. Note: Not all calls are listed. See the full (redacted) report embedded at the end of this post or download the PDF version here.

In November, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,771 total calls, 398 (22%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown and Wrightstown Townships).

Traffic Citations

The Newtown Police Department issued a total of 151 traffic citations in November 2019. 49 (32%) of these were for speeding, especially on Swamp Road and Newtown Bypass.

Traffic citations issued by the Newtown Police Department for the period
January through November, 2019.
November Sets Record for Struck Deer

Of the reported 43 accidents, 41 involved struck deer! You were warned last month (read "October 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: Peak Season for "'Struck Deer'")!

Catalytic Converter Thefts
Police in Warminster believe these men are involved
in local catalytic converter thefts.

Police departments across Bucks County are investigating a series of catalytic converter thefts from cars parked at area shopping centers. Although no such incidents have been reported in the Newtown area, Chief Hearn cautioned residents to call the police if they see any unusual persons under cars in local area parking lots.

Full (redacted) November 2019 Police Report

Posted on 12 Dec 2019, 01:26 - Category: Crime

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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