Crime statistics have ups and downs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crime statistics have ups and downs

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Betsy's Fabric and Interiors Manager Christy Harris Betsy's Fabric and Interiors Manager Christy Harris

New FBI statistics show that violent crime and murder are down in Georgia, but the story is a little different in Albany.

Violent crime and property crimes are down so far this year, but homicides and rapes are up over last year.

So far this year there have been 10 murders in Albany. There were six murders in Albany through August of 2010. Overall, violent crimes and property crimes in Albany are down by an average of more than 11%. But of course crime victims are still upset when they are targeted.

Air conditioning metal theft is a continuing property crime in Albany. Betsy's Fabrics on Archwood Drive found one of their two AC units stolen Monday.  So the news that crime stats are down isn't much comfort to them.

Betsy's Fabric and Interiors Manager Christy Harris said "They can decrease, but when it hits your property, it's a little bit upsetting."

Nationally, the FBI says property crimes were down for the 8th straight year, falling 2.7%. In Georgia property crime fell 2.3%. In Albany property crime fell more than 10%.

Albany Police Media Manager Phyllis Banks credits a better partnership with the community for the improvement.

 "More people are getting involved in neighborhood watch groups. They are participating in our citizens' police academies. They are out there being the eyes and the ears for the police department when we are not in the area at all times."

Nationwide the FBI says violent crime dropped 6% in 2010, the fourth straight year nationally for a year to year decline. In Georgia there were 39,072 violent crimes in 2010, as compared to 42,073 in 2009.

Comparing Albany's latest stats, although the murder rate is up, violent crime overall so far in 2011 is down more than 15% compared to the same period in 2010.

But Police say the community must continue to fight to keep crime off their streets.

Banks said "Do whatever they can to protect their property. If it's investing in an alarm system. Any type of special fencing for their AC units and those types of crime prevention methods."

Christy Harris is disturbed that someone would steal their business air conditioner, but says they will continue on.   "I'm just glad it wasn't somebody coming in and robbing us," said Harris.

They hope to improve the security in the rear of their business in the future.

Albany Police say most of the ten murders so far this year are believed to be domestic or acquaintance related crimes.  Crimes of passion that are unpredictable and hard to control unfortunately.

Many crime experts predicted that armed robberies would increase because of the tough economic times.

But in Albany the number of armed robberies decreased more than 23% so far this year.

Here are the most recent crime statistics from the City of Albany's website--

 

 

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