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PROVO CRIMES UP IN ’89, BUT SO IS GROWTH

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Police Chief Swen Nielsen says the 1989 annual police report reflects "utopian figures" for a community the size of Provo. However, the report shows increases in several categories of reported crime.

Nielsen presented copies of the report Tuesday to the City Council.Reported rapes, assaults, business burglaries, thefts, bicycle and auto thefts, and auto burglaries all increased during 1989.

One of the largest increases was in the category of reported rapes. There were 25 reported rapes in Provo during 1989, six more than during 1988 - a 39 percent increase. In 1987, there were nine reported rapes.

The increase in reported rapes in recent years may be the result of education efforts, the Rape Crisis Center playing a more active role in the community and less fear on the part of rape victims about reporting attacks, according to Capt. Jerry Markling, who prepared the annual police report.

"A lot of reported rapes end up not being (actual) rapes," Markling said. "If you went to any other major university town I can guarantee you they have more than 25 rapes per year."

There were nine reported rapes in Provo during the first quarter of 1990, Markling said.

Auto burglaries, thefts and stripping also increased last year. There were 626 auto burglaries, 159 more than in 1988. A total of 145 vehicles were stolen during the year, up 27 percent.

The number of traffic accidents in the city, including injury accidents, also increased in 1989. There were 92 more injury accidents in 1989, and four traffic fatalities compared to one in 1988. The report includes a listing of the 15 most hazardous intersections in the city. All 15 intersections have either semaphores or traffic control signs.

"Generally speaking, speed does not cause traffic accidents," Nielsen said. More often, accidents are caused by failure to yield, stop or keep a proper lookout, he said.

The listing of dangerous intersections has been given to the city's engineering staff for review, although Nielsen said "some of the engineering problems we do see are not on city streets - they are on state roads."

During 1989 there was one homicide in Provo - the result of an overdose of illegal narcotics, according to the report.

Some crime categories decreased - robbery, residential burglary and sexual misconduct. There were 45 reported cases of sexual abuse of a child in 1989, the same number as were reported in 1988.

Provo dispatchers handled about 9,000 more calls than in 1988, but Nielsen said many of the calls were not about crimes but were requests for assistance in dealing with "loud radios, barking dogs and missing children - the effects of a community our size living in close proximity together."

Markling said, "This area is growing very rapidly and as it grows we have more calls for service, but there has been only a 2 percent increase in arrests."

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Where to watch out for the other guy

The 15 most dangerous intersections in Provo:

1. 550 West and University Parkway - 34 accidents

2. 1720 North and State Street - 26

3. 2230 North and University Avenue - 25

4. 1230 North and Freedom Boulevard - 25

5. 1230 North and State Street - 23

6. 1720 North and 550 West - 22

7. 1230 North and University Avenue - 21

8. University Avenue and University Parkway - 20

9. 900 West and Center Street - 20

10. 100 North and 500 West - 19

11. Riverside Drive and State Street - 18

12. 800 North and University Avenue -17

13. University Avenue and Center Street - 16

14. University Parkway and Freedom Boulevard - 15

15. 800 North and 500 West - 15