Local News

WRAL Maps Crime In Fayetteville

Posted March 20, 2002

— Police in big cities say most crime occurs in the same areas. But is that true? WRAL's Cullen Browder took crime reports, plugged them into a map and found not only the most dangerous areas of our cities, but the most dangerous streets -- even the worst houses.

WRAL downloaded three years' worth of data provided by the Fayetteville Police Department on crimes reported from 1999-2001.

The Fayetteville crime locations were then transferred into Microsoft mapping software. All of the reported incidents were color-coded: personal robberies in red; burglaries (residential break-ins) in yellow.

Former Cumberland County sheriff's deputy Jim Henley now works as a private detective and helped WRAL analyze the map.

Henley says areas along Campbell Street, downtown and the Bonnie Doone area show high concentrations of crime, but he believes they are vastly improved from years past.

"Along with the community policing, Bonnie Doone has seen a very active community watch program that's worked very well with police," Henley says.

In west Fayetteville, adjacent to Fort Bragg, some areas show dense clusters of home break-ins. The middle class neighborhood of Glen Reilly is predominantly military families.

"Its like a transition period of new kids," says longtime resident Gloria Bryant.

She believes thieves strike once they figure out soldiers' schedules.

"I feel that it's people that come in from other neighborhoods that come in that's maybe gang related," Bryant says.

"That's what we find in a lot of neighborhoods in Fayetteville," Henley says. "The lighting is just not adequate."

Henley takes us down Moore Street, one of the hot spots on our map.

"This is the area where we had a Fayetteville police officer killed," he points out.

Henley believes the abandoned homes and transient nature of residents opens the door for trouble.

One surprise Henley finds on the map is break-ins in the Seabrook neighborhood, a close-knit community of families -- until he points out a cluster of crime on nearby Jasper Street.

He thinks the street-level drug dealing has spilled into other areas.

"He's the one who's going to start doing the break-ins, the robberies," Henley says.

"You probably have more problems at nighttime than you do during the day, because the community policing more or less pulls out when the sun goes down," Henley says.

Because WRAL tracked three years' worth of crime reports, ending in 2001, certain trends or improvements may not appear in the analysis.

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