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Violent Crime Up in Albany

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January 15, 2008

Albany - Violent Crime in Albany is up 14% from 2006. The biggest increase is in Aggravated Assault, up 40%, and the primary reason? Domestic violence.

Overall, crime is up in Albany, but the 5% total increase in crime doesn't look so bad until you break it down. "The biggest area in the increase is the aggravated assaults," said Chief James Younger.

In 2007, there were 389 aggravated assaults, which in the state of Georgia is the charge often used to prosecute attempted murder. That number is a 40% increase over 2006, when there were 277 aggravated assaults.

Commissioner Jon Howard said, "I think we have to sometimes look at the root cause of some of the problems. We live in a city where we have a high level of poverty and sometimes individuals that are unskilled and don't have jobs or they just get frustrated and they just take that frustration out on their neighbors or family members."

And domestic violence does seem to be the root of many of the aggravated assault and the 12 murder cases. Domestic Violence in Albany was up more than 80% last year. "When we're dealing with a crime that occurs between parties that know each other," said Younger, "That's a real challenge in terms of police intervention."

But Commissioner Howard says some kind of intervention is a must. He said, "We've certainly got to do something, whether it's perception or real, it does not look good for the community as a whole."

To make Albany a whole lot safer in 2008. Larcenies were up about 12 percent, largely because of copper and metal thefts. Robberies, Burglaries and auto thefts also decreased.

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