Violent crime down, property crime up as Durham considered renewing ShotSpotter contract

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Thursday, February 22, 2024
ShotSpotter contract in Durham in limbo
According to the latest police report, violent crime in Durham has decreased by 3% when comparing 2022 to 2023.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham Police Department released its latest report on crime in the city.

According to the report, which was formally presented to the city council Thursday afternoon, violent crime overall has decreased by 3 percent when comparing 2022 to 2023.

However, when you break down the numbers, homicide cases are actually increased by 8 percent. Rape cases increased by 16 percent. Robberies and aggravated assaults were down.

For property crime, burglaries and larcenies were both up 7% respectively. One of the biggest increases in the report was motor vehicle thefts which were up 134%.

The city council also heard about the ShotSpotter contract.

The pilot program ended in December of last year and now the city manager could authorize a three-year contract with the company that created the gunshot detection service.

The city saw an 11 percent increase in the number of shootings from 2022 to 2023. That includes 79 ShotSpotter alerts that were not called in to 911.

"We knew we needed to get on scene quickly and try and collect evidence and it had no effect on how we did our work," Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews said.

Durham Police Department analysis found that ShotSpotter had no major measurable affect on gun violence. However, supporters of the program said one year is a small sample size and additional data is needed to determine if it can help reduce crime over time.

Councilman Nate Baker said he doesn't plan to vote on ShotSpotter just yet. He said he wants time to digest the data and form a more educated opinion. He said he expects a vote to happen during the next City Council meeting.

The City Council is deliberating whether to sign a three-year contract with ShotSpotter or move on and focus on other crime reduction initiatives.

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