With only three weeks left to the end of the year, Captain John M. Chell, commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, reported a 1.4 percent overall crime increase for the year, noting a rise in domestic violence and holiday-related theft .

“The crime that really took up by surprise this year is domestic violence,” Chell said, adding that while instances of domestic violence are hard to prevent, a team of trained officers is now in place to deal with the problem. Chell made the statements during the monthly 61st Precinct Community Council meeting on Wednesday.

Chell also attributed a spike in identity theft, car break-ins and the DIPs (dipping in people’s purses) to the holiday shopping season. These crimes have been reported to take place on buses and along popular shopping routes like Kings Highway, Avenue U and Sheepshead Bay Road.

To curb DIPs and other theft, Chell assured that police presence has been bolstered on city buses across Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods.

“I have a group of young cops riding the B49 with me all week,” he said. Chell also cautioned against leaving bags and other personal belongings in cars as they tend to attract thieves.

Meanwhile, Capitan Chell lauded the efforts of the 61st Precinct officers in helping reduce vehicle accidents and traffic-related pedestrian injuries, both of which are down for the year.

– Steven Volynets

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