VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach officials have released crime data after College Beach Weekend that shows more people were charged this year than during the event in 2013.
It’s estimated more people gathered at the Oceanfront last weekend than the 40,000 visitors who crowded the resort area for the same event last year. Officials say they see the same crowd size in the area during any holiday weekend, like Memorial Day and Labor Day, but didn’t expect it for College Beach Weekend last year. This year, police planned for the crowds.
“Additional officers were at the resort to accommodate the large crowds, with only a few, minor isolated incidents reported,” the City Manager’s Office said in a release. “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.”
While officials say only a few, minor, isolated incidents were reported, and Mayor Will Sessoms called the weekend a success, the numbers show 65 more people were charged this year than during the same weekend in 2013. Virginia Beach Police say 248 people were charged with a total of 309 offenses this year and 183 people were charged with 227 offenses in 2013.
A breakdown of the charges is as follows:
- Felony charges: 7 in 2013 and 10 in 2014
- Misdemeanor charges: 112 in 2013 and 171 in 2014
- Traffic summons: 108 in 2013 and 118 in 2014
Officials say the increase in charges filed could be the result of additional officers patrolling the area, enabling the department to catch more crime.
Police say only 10 of the charges this year were for felonies, with the majority for traffic offenses or liquor law violations. Last year, while less people were charged, the crowds caused shootings, stabbings, assaults and robberies.
“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.”
Officials also said 44 percent of those charged were from Hampton Roads, including 25 percent from Virginia Beach. Another 40 percent were from Virginia, but outside of Hampton Roads, leaving 15 percent from out of state. Police said that is about the same as last year.