Chico police revealed on Thursday that crime is on the rise in the city of Chico and they say a lack of officers could be to blame.
A 29-page report shows that Chico's overall crime rates have risen between 2011 and 2012. According to police, it is the first increase in crime since 2008.
“The bigger weekends you see a lot more crime," said Chico State student Blake Haisley. "People come from out of town and more fights break out and a lack of street lights."
Chico police said crime jumped up more than 7 percent between 2011 and 2012.
According to the report, the number of assaults jumped from 144 incidents in 2011 to 168 in 2012, and burglary went from 520 in 2011 to 798 in 2012.
There was some good news. Larcenies were down from 1342 to 1260.
Investigators said the spike in overall crime could have many contributing factors – anything from not having enough officers on the street to the sluggish economy.
“People are out of work and need money, they'll commit crimes,” said Capt. Ford Porter.
Porter said these numbers could be lower if the police department had more people in uniform, but for now, he says some crimes slip through the cracks.
“What they've really done in many respects are not allowing us to document every crime,” said Porter.
For some, that’s enough to take action.
“Walking alone at night it's pitched dark and girls are talking on their phones and guys are walking faster to get home, hoping that nothing happens,” said Haisley.
Citizens around Chico have said they would also like to see more street lights throughout the city.