The Police Department today released preliminary arrest and crime data for the resort area during the weekend of April 25-27, when thousands of college students came to Virginia Beach. Crowds this past weekend were at least as large as the crowds during the same weekend in 2013 – roughly comparable to the crowds Virginia Beach sees on a typical summer holiday weekend, such as Memorial Day, July 4th or Labor Day.
Additional officers were at the resort to accommodate the large crowds, with only a few minor, isolated incidents reported. Police officers were able to handle the few incidents without any major impact to the many visitors who were here to enjoy the festivities. In some cases, police intervened in situations that could have become dangerous for visitors and local businesses. In these instances, people were arrested for crimes to ensure an enjoyable weekend for everyone else.
According to the preliminary crime data:
· Arrests were up this year compared with 2013. This past weekend, 248 people were charged with crimes at the resort. That compares with 183 people last year. The increase may have been caused by the presence of additional police officers at the Oceanfront. These numbers are roughly comparable to arrest numbers during busy summer holiday weekends.
· Nearly all the crimes were minor. Of the 248 people charged with crimes at the Oceanfront this weekend, only six were charged with felonies. The vast majority were issued traffic summonses (108) or charged with misdemeanors (134). The most common misdemeanor crimes were violations of liquor laws, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. It was roughly the same last year, when only four of the 183 people were charged with felonies.
· Most people charged were from Virginia. About 44 percent of all people charged with crimes were from Hampton Roads, including 25 percent from Virginia Beach. An additional 40 percent of all people charged with crimes were from Virginia but outside of Hampton Roads. About 15 percent were from out of state. This is roughly comparable to last year.
“It was a busy weekend, as we expected, but pretty typical for a summer holiday Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Police Chief James Cervera said. “Visitors were mostly well-behaved and enjoying themselves. We were prepared for the large crowd and we quickly removed violators who threatened to disturb others.”