Local News

Police: Raleigh's population growth leads to more crime

Posted December 31, 2008
Updated March 9, 2009

— Homicides in Raleigh increased 29 percent this year over 2007, and armed robberies in the city were up 21 percent, according to preliminary figures from the Raleigh Police Department.

Through Sunday, 31 people had been killed in the city this year, compared with 24 last year and 18 in 2006. Final 2008 crime statistics are expected to be released in the next week or two.

"When you look at the numbers, you know it has been a very challenging year for the Raleigh Police Department and the Capital City," Police Chief Harry Dolan said. "We are alarmed and will do all that we can to reduce the amount of armed robberies and homicides carried out in our community."

Homicides are up in Raleigh Homicides are up in Raleigh

The size of the increase in armed robberies dropped in recent months after a robbery spree early in the year put Raleigh on a pace for a 50 percent increase. Officers started concentrating on getting more robbery suspects off the street, and robbery-related arrests ended up 34 percent higher than last year.

"You have to get to them, and you have to intercede just as quickly as you can," Dolan said, adding that Raleigh residents have helped officers solve a number of crimes through tips and information.

Dolan attributed some of the increase in major crimes to Raleigh's population growth. The rate of Part I crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery and burglary, was up 3.29 percent this year, while the city's population increased 3.31 percent, he said.

Meanwhile, homicides dropped in Durham this year, to 24 from 26 a year ago. Durham's population grew by 2.2 percent this year.

Curbing gangs will be a major part of the Raleigh Police Department's efforts to reduce crime in 2009, Dolan said.

"We see a correlation between increased gang activity (and major crimes). We see people encouraging others to commit armed robberies and to be part of a gang," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • whatusay Jan 1, 2009

    The wrong kind of growth, more illegals and more welfare citizens will never make us safer.

  • independent_thinker Jan 1, 2009

    Moral standards, useless statistics, illegal immigrants, population increases.

    Look at the facts: the South has historically been the most violent region in the US; not much has changed. Check out the "good old days", and you'll find murder rates per 100k population were higher then.

  • wrx44 Jan 1, 2009

    any1but...you are absolutely right.

  • any1butcarolina0405 Jan 1, 2009

    IMO the population rise has nothing to do with increased crime, its the lack of moral standards in our world today. And no one even cares. THATS our problem.

  • seeingthru Jan 1, 2009

    is this supposed to be a surprise??

  • thepeopleschamp Jan 1, 2009

    TarHeelsDontLikeEdwards, I have a question. If low speed limits are only for generating revenue for govt, why would police enforce them? They dont make 1 cent more for writing a ticket.

  • superman Jan 1, 2009

    Guess Raleigh needs a new police cheif to reduce the crime like the last one they had!

  • wrx44 Jan 1, 2009

    I believe I read in the N&O last week that while murder rates overall have not increased much since 2008...Black on black murder has risen over 40% in the last 8 years!

    That is where we are seeing the increase of murder in Raleigh....

    And yet the NAACP focuses on the Free Expression Tunnel at NCSU....

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 1, 2009

    Speed limits which are normally lower than highway engineers say they should be, are in place to generate revenue. Safety is a secondary consideration. Revenue generation is the primary consideration.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 1, 2009

    What percentage of this crime growth can be attributed to illegal immigrants who should have already been deported back to their home country.