Major Crime Rates Down, But Violent Crime Up
From Staff And Wire Reports
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
RALEIGH - According to the Raleigh Police Department, major crimes -- also called Part 1 crimes -- in Raleigh were down slightly in 2006 compared to 2005. However, violent crimes increased 8.6 percent in the city, led by the increases in robberies and aggravated assault.
In addition, the Raleigh Police Department "clearance rate" or the solving of crimes, was substantially higher than the national average, as seen at the end of this article.
According to the department, Part 1 crimes are "the national standard for gauging major offenses" and include seven categories such as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. The rate represents the number of Part 1 crimes per 100,000 people.
Raleigh's Part 1 crime rate in 2006 was 4,207 compared to 4,244 in 2005. The rates for murder, rape, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft were down but the rates for robbery and aggravated assault were up.
"The Raleigh Police Department continued to work hard during the year to minimize crime, and our officers, detectives and civilian employees did a lot of outstanding work," said Interim Raleigh Chief of Police Kent Sholar in a released statement. "But they didn't do it alone. The community's involvement and support continued to be important and appreciated aspects of the city's overall effort to fight crime."
The department says that helping to fight crime in the city in 2006 were additional police officer positions that enabled the formation of a Gang Suppression Unit and two Robbery Investigation Squads.
Sholar noted that it would be several months before national crime data is available, but preliminary reports from cities around the country seem to indicate that there were "significant" increases in crime in 2006.
"So far, Raleigh has avoided that for the most part," said Chief Sholar. "But certain types of violent crimes were up here, and we will be looking for trends as we keep a close eye on what occurs here and elsewhere."
In raw numbers, Part 1 crimes increased last year by 2.4 percent, which was less than Raleigh's 3.3 percent population growth which was a factor that produced the improved crime rate. Violent crimes increased 8.6 percent, led by the increases in robberies and aggravated assault.
Property crimes increased 1.4 percent. Property crimes comprised 85 percent of the city's Part 1 crimes in 2006, says the department.
Crimes that were solved are "cleared" and according to the city, the city clearance rates for certain crimes are listed below. The Raleigh Police Department clearance rate was substantially higher than the national average.
--Violent Crime 62.06%
--Property Crime 25.95%
--Overall Part 1 Crime 31.32%
The national average clearance rates for 2005 (the latest data available) for cities of comparable size with 250,000 - 499,999 people.are listed below for comparison.
--Violent Crime 40.2%
--Property Crime 13.6%
--Overall Part 1 Crime 17.7% ::