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Durham Police Credit Community With Drop In Crime

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DURHAM — Durham police have said they are winning the war against crime and now they have the numbers to prove it.

The numbers for first and second quarters of 2001 show violent crime is down in the city, with the number of murders alone at almost half of last year's total.


Durham Police Department

is sharing credit with the community. They say concerned neighbors make a difference when it comes to fighting crime.

"We depend on community residents. They know a lot more about their neighborhood than we could ever know," says Lt. Ed Sarvis of the Durham Police Department.

The latest figures show an overall drop in crime for the first half of the year -- a 20 percent drop since 1998 andan 11 percent drop compared to last year. The crime figures include rape, robbery, breaking and entering, murder and car theft.

"I think it helps focus attention on where the problems are," says Brooke Whiteford, an active member of Partners Against Crime, a neighborhood group that works hand-in-hand with police.

"There are some smart people here, and when they put their minds towards a solution, it's amazing what type of solutions come out of that," she says.

Whiteford believes fighting crime is not something the police can do alone.

"People need to call 911 and go on record with what's happening," she says.

One of the biggest drops comes in car thefts, which are down 52 percent over the same period three years ago. Police credit residents with paying attention,locking their cars and for not leaving their valuables out in the open.

Police say that there is still work to do. The department wants to increase its crime solving rate. Currently, it is at 16 percent; the national average is 20 percent.


Julia Lewis, Reporter
Don Ingle, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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