Raleigh Crime Rate Down Slightly, Latest Report Shows
Posted March 17, 2007 1:20 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2007 4:12 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Violent crime increased last year, but the city's overall crime rate declined, according to a report released Friday by the Raleigh Police Department.
The collective number of homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts -- which make up what the department calls the Part 1 Crime Index -- in 2006 increased by 2.4 percent, which was less than Raleigh's 3.3 percent population growth -- factors that combined to produce the improved crime rate.
"The actual raw numbers went up a little bit, but not near as much as the population percentage went up," said Raleigh interm police chief Kent Sholar.
Violent crimes, overall, increased 8.6 percent from 2005 with a more significant increase in robberies and aggravated assaults. The number of homicides, however, was down 10 percent.
Property crimes -- comprised of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft -- made up about 85 percent of the city's Part 1 crimes, with the largest increase (2.7 percent) in larceny.
However, the city's crime rate -- the national standard used to compare the occurrence of crimes between jurisdictions of varying sizes -- stands at 4,207, less than 1 percent lower than 2005's crime rate of 4,244.
Sholar said the police department is pleased with the numbers overall, but he said he is the most concerned about the rise in robberies.
“As we get more people, we're going to have raw numbers showing more crime,” Sholar said. “Our battle is to keep the crime rate from increasing.”