Violent crime on the rise in Newton


NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN News has heard concerns from some residents in Newton who are concerned crime is on the rise.

“It is a nice quaint town,” says Justin Rempel, who lives in Newton. “Most of the people around here are nice.”

Newton, Kansas. What many may consider your typical small town USA.

“One of the places where you can kind of stop and help you if you are in trouble,” says Gary Dason, resident.

A community that, lately, that has been hit with the cold reality of crime.

Police are still trying to find a suspect who shot a man outside his home this weekend.

In August, a woman and her 4-year-old daughter were killed in what police say was a targeted crime.

Those crimes, and others in Harvey County, left many feeling wondering how those things could happen here.

City data says there is a rise in some crime.

Since 2012, the number of violent crimes has risen from 266 to 384 in 2016.

But in that same time span property crimes decreased, from 802 in 2012, to 770 in 2016.

“There is some stuff that goes on but that is normal for any town,” says Rempel.

The Deputy Police Chief tells KSN they have noticed more violent crimes over the last several years and believe this is a nationwide trend.

He says they are doing the best they can to actively keep the community safe.

Gary Dason has lived in Newton for 69 years and he says even with a rise in violent crimes he says it’s important to look at it with perspective.

“If bad things happened on a regular basis then no big deal. But if it doesn’t happen very often, and then when it does happen, then everybody goes, whoa,” says Dason. “That is sort of what is happening in Newton.”

The Deputy Police Chief says they have been having discussions this week to have a Drug Task Force Team in the near future.

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