The overall crime rate in North Carolina declined in 2015, driven down by drops in property crimes such as burglary and larceny. But violent crime in the state rose for the year after a decade of improvement, according to a report released by the State Bureau of Investigation last month.
Statewide, the crime rate dropped 3.5 percent in 2015, continuing a downward trend that began in 2005. The rate of violent crime – murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – was 355.8 per 100,000 residents, an increase of 6.9 percent. The rate for property crimes – burglary, larceny, arson and motor vehicle theft – was 2,813.5, down 4.7 percent from 2014.
The North Carolina numbers mirror the national trend, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which reported in September that the violent crime rate rose in 2015 while the property crime rate dropped. Despite the increase in 2015, the national violent crime rate of 372.6 remains less than half its peak in 1991.
There were 559 homicides in North Carolina in 2015. That’s 7 percent more than the year before, propelled by increases in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Durham, which together accounted for 96 homicides.
Other findings from the SBI report:
▪ In Raleigh, the number of the eight index crimes tracked by the FBI declined 7 percent in 2015, with significant drops in burglaries and larcenies but an increase in aggravated assault. There were 16 homicides in the city in 2015, the same as the year before.
▪ The Wake County Sheriff’s Office handled only one homicide in 2015, down from seven the year before.
▪ Durham County has the second highest violent crime rate in the state, at 785 per 100,000 residents. Robeson County topped the list with a rate of 915.4 per 100,000. The violent crime rate in Wake was 246.5.
Crime rates in the Triangle
Index crimes per 100,000 county residents in 2015 compared to 2014.
▪ Chatham: 2,093, up 1.6 percent
▪ Durham: 4,923, up 3.7 percent
▪ Franklin: 1,777, down 5.6 percent
▪ Johnston: 2,251, up 1.1 percent
▪ Orange: 2,180, down 4.8 percent
▪ Wake: 2,237, down 8.2 percent