'Look at the statistics': Is crime in Downtown Raleigh a problem?

Josh Chapin Image
Saturday, June 24, 2023
Is crime in Downtown Raleigh a problem?
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Recent incidents in Downtown Raleigh have left some business owners frustrated and fed up.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Car break-ins. Shootings. Bank robberies.Even stabbings in Moore Square.

These recent incidents in Downtown Raleigh have left some business owners frustrated and fed up.

"What we've seen is a different type of atmosphere now," said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. "We have people coming downtown, juveniles. We've seen them breaking windows. They take the bus in so there are hot spots in the city where crime is happening."

The concerns from business owners include one being held up with a boxcutter in a parking garage. Another said homeless people have harassed patrons to no end, and the response from RPD has been lackluster.

"If you look at the statistics, our crime rate is low," Baldwin said.

Crime in the area of Moore Square is up nearly 81% compared to last year. The big things are assaults and drug violations.

Statistics in the nightlife district of Glenwood South shows the number of incidents is down there. This is despite a few high-profile cases including two shootings in the last two months.

"Overall crime is flat so we're not seeing that, not seeing random on random crime," said Bill King, president of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

He said they've put up better lighting in all the garages downtown, and switched the hours and locations of their ambassador patrol program to target high-crime areas.

They've also added 25 new storefronts.

"The more we can fill in storefronts, the more we get people living down here, the more that creates natural safety," King said. "Events help too."

The mayor said it's important to be patient in the process and that downtowns across the country are having issues.

RPD has increased its presence in the area as well. They did not respond to multiple requests for comment as of Friday night