Violent crime down 39 percent in Uptown Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Between 2011 and 2015, violent crime in Uptown Greenville fell 39 percent overall. Police said new techniques and business growth have both helped to reduce crime.

Over the last year, 24 new businesses have opened. Positive economic growth, combined with Greenville Police’s City Center Unit, which formed in January of 2014, has led to a safer place for everyone.

“Our job is to specifically identify issues in Uptown area, develop relationships with the stake holders,” said Sgt. Rudy Oxendine with the City Center Unit.

Oxendine said the increase of cameras and better lighting in Uptown have helped reduce crime as well. He said as crime has fallen, the area has become more attractive for people looking to open businesses.

“If you’re looking to open a business you want to know it’s a place that your business is going to be viable, you’re going to be successful and people are going to come to it,” he said.

Alyson Sparks, owner of Uptown Nutrition, said she moved her business to Uptown a year ago due in part to safety.

“With the police presence I feel that crime has gone way down,” she said.

She said she has never felt unsafe when arriving at work before 7 a.m. each day. She said the proximity to the courthouse and police department, along with more of a police presence, has helped all businesses in Uptown.

Martina Jones, who has lived in Greenville for 10 years, also said she is noticing a difference.

“I do feel like it’s a lot safer. We have a lot more lights and a lot more of a presence in the evenings and during high volume activity,” Jones said.

Despite the overall decrease in violent crime, there are certain times of day that saw an increase. In 2015, there were three violent crimes reported between 8 a.m. and 4:59 p.m., and one violent crime reported between 5 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. Both of those numbers were up from zero reports in 2011 and 2014.

Violent crimes were most likely to occur between midnight and 7:59 a.m., with 32 cases in 2011, 20 cases in 2014, and 9 cases in 2015.

Oxendine said with more policing and continued growth expected in Uptown, they hope to reduce crime even more.


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