Crime Stats Show Violent Crime Is Up In Memphis
By: Annette Peagler
Posted: Jul 21, 2017 10:29 PM CDT
Updated: Jul 21, 2017 10:29 PM CDT
MEMPHIS,tenn (localmephis.com) - Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission and the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute released the latest crime statistics for Memphis and Shelby County based on preliminary data provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
There has been an increase in overall major violent crimes and property crimes. Through June, the data shows a 9.9 percent increase in major violent crime over 2016 in the city of Memphis and a 9.3 percent increase countywide. Major violent crimes include murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.
President of the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission Bill Gibbons says the aggravated assaults and auto thefts are the crimes with the highest increase reported.
"Aggravated assaults involving firearms are up, and aggravated assaults involving three or more perpetrators are up which could be an indication of gang activity," Gibbons explained.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said reducing violent crime is the city's number 1 priority and it begins with rebuilding the Memphis Police Department. He addressed the numbers in his weekly update to the city of Memphis.
"It's not just the number of police officers but making sure those officers are deployed in a data driven way making sure they are at the right place at the right time to have the maximum impact on the crime rate," Gibbons explained.
Major property crimes, composed of burglaries, motor vehicle thefts, and other felony thefts, increased 10.6 percent in Memphis and 9.4 percent countywide through the second quarter of 2016.
Domestic violence incidents were also up compared to 2016, with an 8.4 percent increase in Memphis and a 5.7 percent increase countywide.
Some positive takeaways from the data include the city's and county's murder rate. The second quarter reflects a 12.2 percent decrease in Memphis compared to 2016 and a 14.9 percent decrease countywide.
In a statement, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said -
"We will continue to work hard to combat crime in Memphis; we will not stop. We will not shy away from this challenge, but we also need help from our citizens."
Local 24 went to the public to get the reaction.
"Until we solve the issue of poverty which is huge in Memphis we won't really be able to solve the other issues, so once we take care of poverty that's when employment opportunities are solved, education and all those other factors," Martavius Hampton, a Memphis native said.
Hampton believes the first step is helping young people find jobs. "If you have more opportunities there's less for you to get into trouble."
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