WRAL Investigates

Police chief: Durham crime rate dips, reported rapes spike

Posted August 20, 2012

— Major violent crimes in Durham are down so far this year, but the number of reported rapes has increased nearly 30 percent, Police Chief Jose Lopez told City Council Monday.

Lopez said murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, as a whole, were down 5 percent in the first six months of 2012 over the first six months of 2011.

Rapes, however, increased from 35 to 45 in the same time period.

"The number of rapes are up, but we have no indication of a serial rapist," Lopez said.

He said most reported sexual assaults are domestic or committed by acquaintances. He said police have been placing more focus on the investigation of sex crimes, which may mean that more victims are coming forward than before.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez Police chief: Durham crime rate dips, reported rapes spike

City Council members expressed some concerns about a recent string of crimes on the American Tobacco Trail.

"Five were simple assaults, two of which were cleared by arrests. One is a robbery that is an open investigation," Lopez said.

More officers have been placed on patrol at the trail, Lopez said, and the department has ordered small four-wheel vehicles that will soon allow officers to drive on it.

Mayor Bill Bell said, despite some concerns over these incidents, the trail is safe to use for Durham residents.


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  • walkindogs Aug 22, 2012

    @ marvinsfuturewife12

    The previous comments by anneonymouseone were excellent, however, it annoys me as a woman, that the Durham police chief doesn't seem to consider rape a violent crime.

  • gingerlynn Aug 22, 2012

    And another assault on the tobacco trail is reported today.....

  • MarvinsWife12 Aug 21, 2012

    Amen, Uhavenoclu!

  • Uhavenoclu Aug 21, 2012

    Ain't it funny that all the yuppies and preppies always complain about Durham but they do their shopping at Streets of Southpoint and New Hope Commons center?...Guess the yuppies,never committed crimes...Colorado,Outer Banks...Cary...And other places the ones you never suspect have done the crimes..That is why crime is so high and many more are in the waiting.
    Children have been brought up the yuppie way and sheltered by their parents when the outside world hits them they cannot handle it because their parents aoided letting them see and hear it and made them think everything was perfect as long as they have money and material things from their parents.

  • AX MAN Aug 21, 2012

    Rape in Durham? No-way this could never happen.

  • MarvinsWife12 Aug 21, 2012

    Excellent post(s) anneonymouseone.

    Walkindogs, please read previous comments as your question is answered.

  • walkindogs Aug 21, 2012

    Isn't rape a violent crime?

  • anneonymousone Aug 21, 2012

    We need to remember that people of all ages, cultural and ethnic groups, social classes, sexual orientations, and life situations have had their lives affected by rape.
    We need to put a halt to the dropping-the-soap-in-the-prison-shower "jokes."
    We need to remember that we don't know the experiences of everyone around us, and speak in such a way that we don't add to others' pain .

    (Anne gracefully descends her soapbox)

  • anneonymousone Aug 21, 2012

    5. People often joke about things that make them uncomfortable and resort to conventional widom when we don't know much about a topic or don't want to discuss it, but we need to recognize that survivors of rape and other similar types of violence are all around us. We need to speak and act with respect about such crimes.
    That means that people need to stop asking what rape survivors were wearing when they were attacked; we need to ask why the rapists thought they were allowed to do what they did.
    That means that using the phrase "legitimate rapes" implies that some are illegitimate, not really rape at all.

  • anneonymousone Aug 21, 2012

    The assumption seems to be that the ability to protect oneself is an especially male trait, and those who can not either are not male enough to do so, or must have been complicit.
    These biases are not merely impolite, they heap abuse on people who have already suffered abuse. They silence people who deserve to be heard, so they can return to health and wholeness. They victimize the victimized and let rapists off the hook.