A presentation of Branson’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report shows that crime is all together down 19.76% from 2019.

A presentation of Branson’s 2020 uniform crime report and dispatch calls for service year-to-date (YTD) was given by Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews to the Branson Board of Aldermen at the Nov. 19 Study Session.

Part one of the uniform crime report, showing numbers from Jan. 1 to Nov. 8, showed that crime is down by 19.76%.

“The left column is the current year, the right column (under Nov. 8th) is 2019,” said Matthews. “We still have no, thank God, homicide, manslaughter-type offenses. We are seeing a slight increase in our rapes (eight from YTD 2019, to 13 in YTD 2020). However, there are no stranger-on-stranger rapes in the city. That’s one of the things that’s a first off asked question, who’s our victim. All of these have some kind of relationship where we can quickly identify and apprehend the suspect if needed. 

When discussing how robberies are down for 2020, Matthews explained how he believes the 2019 numbers were an anomaly due to a few robberies that took place at the Branson Landing along with other areas.

According to the presentation, there have been 10 reported robberies in the city of Branson as of Nov. 8, 2020 and 15 in YTD 2019, for a 33.33% decrease.

Matthews then discussed how aggravated assaults have seen an increase in YTD numbers compared to 2019. He also highlighted how these victims and suspects ‘for a large part’ had been involved ‘in some kind of high risk activity’ that then led to them becoming ‘associated with these aggravated assaults.’

Aggravated assaults YTD 2019 saw 40 reported, while 2020 has seen 52 as of Nov. 8.

According to Matthews, part two offenses include drugs and domestic assault.

“We are seeing, down here where it says ‘Drug’ and ‘Domestic Assault’, those are part 2 offenses. Part 2 offenses are different than the part 1 offenses - drug offenses, domestics, are part 2 offenses. We are seeing an increase in our drug offenses but I think that’s related to some of the internal organizational change that we’ve made and the proactive approach that we’ve taken to some of our drug enforcement efforts, so we’re seeing an increase in those. I don’t necessarily think it’s an increase, but once again our violent crime for the most part is linked to the drug offenses.

“They’re all interrelated.”

According to the presentation, drug offenses are up 24.34% from YTD 2019 numbers and domestic assault is down 7.74 percent, from 155 YTD 2019 to 143 YTD 2020.

Retail theft is down 40.99%, 344 YTD 2019 to 203 YTD 2020 and vehicle burglary is down 13.44%, 186 YTD 2019 to 161 YTD 2020.

All calls are also down, according to the presentation. 

“Calls for service-wise, we would expect with COVID and some of the lockdowns that our calls for service would be downsized, and they are,” said Matthews. “But they’re not downsized to the point that I thought we would be looking at. When you look at those numbers, we’re running about 500 less calls as of Nov. 8 this year than we did last year and that’s with all the COVID, the decreased traffic in town and all of that.”

Visit bransonmo.gov ‘Agenda Center’ under the ‘Government’ tab to view the full presentation for the Nov. 19 Board of Aldermen Study Session or visit their YouTube page to view the meeting.

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