DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- New Durham crime numbers show a slight uptick in homicides and rapes during the first quarter of the year when compared to the same time last year.
Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews delivered her quarterly crime report to City Council on Thursday. The report comes a week after Raleigh's Chief, Estella Patterson, provided Raleigh's most recent update to city leaders.
Andrews' report showed homicides and rapes both increased year-over-year from the first quarter of 2022, from 11 to 14 homicides and 36 to 50 rapes. It's the third consecutive year those figures have increased. But overall, violent crime -- which also includes robbery and aggravated assault -- is down 11% year-over-year in Durham.
On the same day, a man was shot and killed and another seriously wounded in a shooting at an apartment community, Durham Police said.
"I do cringe when I see the big red plus, but I also try to look at that and contextualize it a little bit," Andrews said.
Andrews also expressed gratitude for her officers' efforts to clear more violent crime in the city. The homicide and rape clearance rates both increased, with an overall violent crime clearance rate of about 30%.
For Sheryl Smith, these numbers are more than just data. She lost her 18-year-old son to gun violence in Durham, before shifting her focus to trying to make the city's streets safer.
She wants to see more elected officials engage with community activists -- like her -- on a grassroots level.
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"But the problem is we can't get our elected officials on board with ones that's really, really doing the work," Smith said. "That's why nothing's changed. And they don't want to work with people that's really in the communities doing the work."
Andrews said DPD is working hard to solve issues with youth violence, but she admits it will take some time.
"It's not something that you can just do and it fixes itself. Our children are -- there's a lot of trauma that's associated with victimization," Andrews said.
Andrews also touted the success of Shotspotter during her presentation, noting that the technology reported 25 instances of shots fired that the department might not have even known about otherwise.