Durham crime report shows slight dip in violent crime

ByJamiese Price via WTVD logo
Friday, August 19, 2022
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New numbers show violent crime is dipping in Durham, but many who live there say they don't believe it.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Despite new numbers showing violent crime is dipping in Durham, people who live here say they don't see it. Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews shared with city councilors on Thursday that violent crime is down six percent for the second quarter of the year.

The numbers come one day after Durham police investigated a shooting on South Roxboro Street that left one man dead and a woman injured.

"Are those crimes really going down? They're not," said Miguel Staten, a long-time Durham resident. "We see it every day. We hear about it every day shooting, shooting, every time you turn on the news, go to Facebook, Twitter, anything, someone's reporting a different shooting in a different area."

Crime stats also show aggravated assaults are down 19 percent. Shooting incidents are also down three percent. Yet, fatal Shootings have remained the same at 20.

Staten said these numbers don't reflect the full picture.

"The same way they put these numbers on paper to make all the residents moving into Durham, to make them feel comfortable, is the same thing they've been doing. It's just smoke and mirrors to them," he said.

Other people in Durham see it differently. Sheryl Smith whose son was a victim of gun violence said the new numbers are a sign of improvement. "I can honestly say our police officers work hard."

Smith said the police can only do so much.

"Everybody wants to blame the police, they make the arrest, and then it is out of their hands. We need to put some heat on that courthouse because that's the problem and it's been too quiet on that courthouse," continued Smith.

The Durham County District Attorney's Office said the idea that people being released pretrial are driving crime in Durham is unsupported by data. An office spokesperson wrote, "Most people do not pick up new charges pretrial, and when they do they are usually low-level charges like traffic offenses. "

The office said it's ultimately the judges who set pretrial conditions.

"In line with state law, we do seek pretrial detention in situations involving violence, while ensuring people who pose no safety risk are not detained pretrial simply because they cannot afford bond," added Sarah Willets, a communications specialist with the Durham County District Attorney's Office.