Durham Police release first quarter crime numbers; violent crime is up

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Friday, May 24, 2024
Durham Police release first quarter crime numbers; violent crime is up
Property crime is up significantly in Durham.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham Police Department is releasing its latest crime numbers as the city continues to search for solutions to gun violence.

On Wednesday night, three teenagers were hurt in two separate shootings including one on Ashe Street where a neighborhood was peppered with bullets.

"My heart broke, they're kids," said Graham Johnson, who lives next to where the drive-by shooting happened.

She and her girlfriend moved to this street last month from Cary. A move she still doesn't regret.

"We wanted to be someplace we could walk more places, we wanted to be someplace with a neighborhood feel," Johnson said. "We wanted to be in Durham. We are queer and there is a big queer population here that we wanted to be part of so you have to take the good with the bad."

Mayor Leonardo Williams said they have to do something.

"We are going to have to respond somehow, some way," said Williams. "The office of survivor care is something I hope we can get, but it damn sure can't be the only thing."

Overall violent crime is up in the first quarter. But if you drill down on the numbers themselves, it is up according to the Durham Police Department specifically because of the robbery category.

There were 18 more robberies this year than there were in 2023 at this point. DPD said a number of those robberies targeted Hispanics.

Homicide numbers are down: from 14 this time last year to six.

Shooting incidents are down, too, from 223 to 147. Some of that according to investigators might be because the ShotSpotter technology is no longer being used to ping officers to different incidents. It doesn't necessarily mean there are fewer incidents.

The numbers released Thursday don't include the last two weeks of crime.

"I have to say we have done a really good job in why we couldn't keep ShotSpotter, but we don't have a response to it," Williams said.

Another focus for the DPD was property crime. It was up nearly 16%. Much of that was because of the whopping increase in motor vehicle thefts: 455 in the first quarter of this year vs. about 300 last year.

On Wednesday night, DPD filed petitions for five juveniles in connection with the ongoing trend of break-ins and thefts.

DeWarren Langley runs the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation, which is aimed at mentoring and career-building for marginalized youth.

He said you need to start with them in the 3rd grade when it appears they are not up to reading standards

"There needs to be a coordinated, strategic response to what our community needs to focus on to alleviate this problem," Langley said. "We as a community need to do a better job of connecting our young people and families to the supportive services they need in order to ensure young folks are having support they need to be healthy and responsible adults."

He told ABC11 that the foundation came out of his own lived experience as a kid in Durham.

"A lot of the crime we see in our community is economically based and if we can help our young folks develop the skills that are required by relocating and expanding in our opportunity, what we'll find is them making better decisions," Langley said. "They can realize those opportunities and when doing so this disincentivizes them from picking up a gun or to be engaged in gang or drug enterprises."