Crime is down in Durham; who gets the credit?

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- Crime is down in Durham.

The Durham Police Department said its grouping for all violent crimes - which includes homicides, assaults, rapes and robberies are down 41 percent in the first three months of 2018, compared to the first three months of last year.

However, when you isolate the number of homicides there's a small uptick.

Durham saw five in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 6 in that same time this year.

Police attributed the overall decline in crime to officers in its robbery unit making more arrests.

Property crimes are also down by 18 percent. DPD said that is attributed to its neighborhood watch program.

But Doral Clayton of Bull City United, a group of former offenders who are committed to keeping the peace in Durham, credits his team's efforts to the city's low crime.

"I'm not surprised. We're actually out on the ground every day," said Clayton.

Southside Durham and McDougald Terrace are the group's focus.

Clayton and his team are mentoring about 27 individuals in those communities who are at risk.

On Tuesday, the group held a job fair.

Bull City United has one piece of advice for DPD:

"Getting out of patrol cars and being with people and actually walking around and engaging the community and finding out what people need and see how we can help would be tremendous," Clayton said.

DPD is on track with Bull City United's request.

This year, DPD said it started a community engagement unit, which consists of 10 officers who focus solely on engaging families living in public housing communities.

Since the start of the year, there have been 11 homicides, four of them are unsolved.
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