SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Savannah-Chatham County police say reports of serious crimes last year were the lowest since the city and county police departments merged in 2005.
Police Chief Willie Lovett says a total of 9,203 crimes ranging from homicide to shoplifting were reported to the department in 2012. That's a reduction of 12 percent from 2011 and nearly 30 percent fewer crimes than were reported in 2005.
The drop is mostly attributable to a steep drop in property crimes such as burglaries and thefts. Violent crimes, including assaults and street robberies, dropped only 1.2 percent compared to 2011. And 2012 violent crimes exceeded those reported in 2010 by nearly 4 percent.
Savannah-Chatham County police responded to 23 homicides last year. That's three fewer than in 2011, but also three more than in 2010.