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Durham Reports Overall Drop In Crime For Fourth Straight Year

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DURHAM, N.C. — Four the fourth year in a row, the city of Durham is reporting a drop in overall crime.

Statistics released Tuesday show reported crime in Durham fell by 8 percent in 2001 over the previous year and was down 16 percent from 1998.

Violent crimes stayed about the same, with a five percent jump in robberies.

Durham police blame gangs for the increase, so the department has restructured its investigative division to tackle the problem.

"What we've recently done in the last month is actually combine our gang resistance unit with our violent crimes unit and they're working hand in hand. And we've actually made some significant arrests," said Interim Chief Steven Chalmers, of the Durham Police Department.

The number of property crimes, which make up a vast majority of Durham's crime, showed a sharp drop.

Murders dropped from 28 in 2000 to 27 in 2001. Robberies increased from 929 in 2000 to 980 in 2001.

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