Kinston violent crime down, overall crime reporting up, in 2015

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – While violent crime was down in Kinston during 2015, overall crime reporting was up. The department of safety said they answered around 27,000 calls during the year.

Interim Director of the Dept. of Safety Greg Thompson said he is proud of the work his officers have done.

“We’re not where we want to be, but as I’ve said in the past, it’s about the process of reducing crime,” Thompson said.

Thompson said with the community’s help and new policing techniques, they arrested more people in 2015 than in 2014.

There were 6 murders in 2015, compared to 4 in 2014. Drug violations, with 468 in 2015 and 338 in 2014, and possessing or carrying a weapon, with 86 in 2015 and 73 in 2014, were both up.

However aggravated assaults (2015: 322, 2014: 364), robbery (2015: 64, 2014: 75) and vandalism (2015: 514, 2014: 609) were all down.

Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy said he is happy with the direction the city is going in.

“We’ve had multiple prayer vigils. We’ve had the Kinston teens become much more a part of our community,” Murphy said. “Neighborhood watches are becoming more prevalent, more active, more engaged.”

Of the six murders in 2015, police have arrested nine people in connection with three of the murders. The other three are still under investigation.

Thompson said two areas of concern remain property crime, which was up 14 percent in 2015, and financial crimes, which rose 24 percent.

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