Locals react to 2015 crime trends

GREENVILLE, NC (WCNT)- 9 On Your Side is tracking crime by looking at data from last year.

The city of Greenville reported an increase in certain crimes through November.

Statistics show homicides and aggravated assault numbers are up from last year, while property crimes like auto theft and larceny are down.

There isn’t one concrete trend when it comes to crime in Greenville during 2015. Stats are up in some places and down in others. Despite what the numbers show, community members say they feel safe and the crime in Greenville isn’t bad at all.

“So far I’ve been pretty lucky, I feel pretty safe,” new Greenville resident, Mandy Wise said.

Greenville resident Barbara Hickman said, “I find that Greenville has improved as far as the crime, it really has.”

Curtis Knox who visits Greenville said, “I feel fine about my safety, I really do.”

No matter how you feel about it, Greenville has seen its fair share of crime in 2015. While only certain categories have increased statistics, community members say they were still shocked at some of the numbers.

“That actually surprises me, because you read it in the newspaper, but I hadn’t really encountered any of it, so it does really surprise me,” Wise said.

Uptown business owner Alyson Sparks said, “It does surprises me though, because I don’t see that in my daily life.”

Sparks has lived in Greenville for almost ten years and says having a police presence near her shop makes all the difference.

“They’ve made a point to go around to different businesses and say hey we’re here for you guys, give businesses cards, and really meet the officers that are in your area and that’s really made me feel safe and secure,” Sparks said.

Overall, the latest statistics show crime is down 10 percent compared to last year.

There were three more homicides and 20 more aggravated assaults through November.

CRIME TRENDS

Barbara Hickman who lives in Greenville said, “I just hope that with the New Year here that maybe as a group of citizens that we can ban together and realize that we all need each other and it’s not about taking from one another.”

A spokesman with the Greenville Police Department says they are always monitoring crime statistics and adjust policing strategies as they see fit.

9 On Your Side also reached out to other cities in the East. Kinston Public Safety reports a slight uptick in violent crimes compared to last year. In 2014 they reported 391 violent crimes, compared to 408 in 2015. Jacksonville documented 126 violent crimes last year. During 2015 they documented 5 homicides and 27 rapes. New Bern didn’t get back to us with 2015 statistics. In 2014, they reported 122 violent crimes.

Violent crimes include homicides, rape, robberies, and aggravated assaults.

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