RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh Police Department released new crime statistics during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
According to Police Chief Estella D. Patterson, in the third quarter which is between July and August, aggravated assaults and property crimes are up, while the city is seeing a slight decrease in homicides.
"Historically when it is warm outside we tend to see those upticks in criminal behavior," Patterson said.
The newly released report shows 13 homicides in the third quarter compared to 15 at the same time in 2022.
There were 319 aggravated assaults in the third quarter compared to 270 last year. Aggravated assaults involving a firearm are up by 40 percent, Chief Patterson said. There were 139 incidents this quarter, of which four juveniles were charged in those cases.
Property crime is also up with 501 cars that were stolen in the third quarter.
When it comes to downtown Raleigh, Chief Patterson says the department is trying to get a handle on the violence. The department has increased its patrol around the area and on the streets.
"Any time there's any kind of criminal activity or behavior in the downtown, we're taking action against that," she said in the news conference. "We have educated the public to let them know, to let individuals know that we are going to be in the downtown area, in the Glenwood South area, in our whole community period. And so we will educate by giving people warnings initially, but we are taking an approach where if you are committing crime in those areas, we will take enforcement action."
In the last five weeks, Chief Patterson said they have charged 71 felony offenses, 285 misdemeanor offenses, and served 65 warrants.
"I think it's definitely going through, like, a bit of a rough stretch," said Henry Boyd and Amit Lal, who live in downtown Raleigh. Both believe in the promise of a turnaround for the area. "It's got a strong enough foundation that I think it'll bounce back."
Until that happens, Chief Patterson has added officers to the transit unit and more cameras to be the eyes and ears of downtown.
"I am not necessarily a fan of like all of the police golf carts, like sometimes they'll just be driving down the sidewalk and that feels like less safe than if they just weren't here," Boyd said.
The city has been in talks about private security patrolling downtown Raleigh to help offset the department's 82 vacancies.
Some businesses have already hired their own officers.
"I've never felt scared here," said Caitlin Edberg. She rented downtown before choosing to buy in the suburbs.
"I've always had success contacting the Raleigh Ambassadors likes to use them a lot," she said.
Wednesday she was back as a visitor, not a resident.
"I've been here since 2009, and I've never had an issue," she said.