RALEIGH, N.C. — Thanks to attention on quality-of-life crimes and a new computer system,
say overall crime is down.
With help from the new districts put in place last year, officers have focused their attention on quality-of-life crimes -- crimes that might be considered petty in the past such as prostitution and loitering.
Officials said attacking the small crimes has helped keep big types of crime out.
"Officers are now looking for things they wouldn't otherwise look for, that being trash piled up, noise, nuisance problems, traffic problems -- issues like that," said Lt. Mike Reynolds, of the Raleigh Police Department.
Jaclyn McKinney said a house across from her home was full of junk in the yard. After Raleigh police made the property owner clean it up, she believes it has helped lower crime in her downtown neighborhood.
"In the beginning when we first moved in, the crime was really bad. You could hear gunshots around and people running up the street. It's definitely changed," he said.
Overall crime in Raleigh was down by about six percent in 2003 and burglaries were down by more than 14 percent. Officials say the number of murders fell from 20 in 2002 to 14 in 2003 -- a 30 percent drop.
Another big help in fighting crime in Raleigh has been COMPSTAT, a computer program that allows officers to pinpoint specific types of crimes in problem areas, which allows Raleigh police to put resources where they are most needed.
The crime rate in Durham is also on the decline. According to their most recent crime report, the Durham Police Department saw a 9 percent decline in overall violent crime over the previous year. Like Raleigh, Durham also had fewer murders with 22 in 2003 compared to 30 in 2002.