Evesham police use stats to cut crashes, crime

Evesham police officer

April 22, 2013 2:32:32 PM PDT
Police in Evesham, New Jersey are using a new tool to help cut down on dangerous driving, traffic crashes and crime.

It's called the Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic safety (DDACTS).

Police in Evesham took three years of statistics, mapped them for hot-spots, adn found that many problems were clustered around the intersection of Routes 70 and 73.

They found more than 2,000 accidents per year along with hundreds of burglaries and shoplifting reports.

In the past year, however, those numbers have dropped. Police say it is because of their highly-visible presence.

"People will obey the law - be it criminal law or traffic code - more when you have a lot of officers around, especially when they are conducting enforcement activities," said Chief Michael Barth.

Under DDACTS, police zeroed-in on bad driving, cell phone use and other transgressions. They say crashes are down 35 percent and drunk-driving arrests are up.

There is the story of one officer who stopped a pedestrian one very cold night.

"She was highly intoxicated and, what she said to the officers was 'I know better than to drive in Evesham because I see police cars everywhere,'" said Capt. Christopher Chew. "So, she decided to walk. She said, in the past, she would normally drive but as a result of seeing the high visibility of police cars in town, she took the better path to walk."