Homicides and robberies rose in the Bull City, even as overall violent crime remained virtually unchanged through the first nine months of the year, according to quarterly police statistics presented Monday night.
The number of total reported homicides, rapes, aggravated assaults and robberies in the city from January through September dropped slightly, from 1,626 to 1,620 incidents.
Homicides, however, rose from 25 to 30 through the first nine months of the year.
Robberies also increased by 10 percent from 523 to 574.
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Overall violent crime also dropped slight in the Police Department’s sixth-month presentation. Before that, the last time violent crime dropped was in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The decrease in reported volent crime so far this year has been driven by a 6 percent drop in aggravated assaults, from 1,001 to 942. Rapes also dropped from 77 to 74.
Meanwhile, property crime continued its downward trend with an overall drop of 8 percent.
In the first nine months of 2016, the total number of burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts dropped from 7,955 to 7,288 incidents.
Overall, reported violent and property crimes dropped a combined 7 percent.
The Police Department recently formed a robbery task force to focus on robberies. The task force will also focus on individuals who have repeatedly been in the system and have been associated with gang activity.
“We plan to be more laser focused in looking at individuals as opposed to applying a crime-fighting strategy or a plan that sort of paints a broad brush over a community,” said Police Chief C.J. Davis. She thinks using the federal attorney’s office for violent incidents that include weapons will allow the department to develop cases that will keep repeat offenders in jail longer, she said.
The Police Department also plans on reassigning officers to focus on high-crime hot spots and support calls for service in those areas, Davis said. Officers who live in high-crime areas have also been given take-home vehicles to increase visibility.
The Police Department’s holiday plan for the next 60 days starting Nov. 28 includes focusing on 26 locations that have had repeat problems, such as a convenience store with repeated robberies, and requiring all sworn officers to wear uniforms to increase visibility.
The Police Department is also using vehicle locators to make sure officers are spending enough time in certain areas.
Body found by railroad tracks
Police are investigating a homicide after a body was found by railroad tracks near N.C. 55 and Carpenter Fletcher Road late Monday morning.
Officers responded to the scene after receiving a report of a man lying on a railroad trestle. The man, identified as Javan Burt, 29, of Durham, was pronounced dead at the scene. He died of an apparent gunshot wound, according to investigators.
No charges had been filed as of Tuesday evening.
Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator M. Evans at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29336 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.