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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reported that crime increased slightly in 2012 compared to the previous year.
Overall crime increased 2.8 percent, with property crime increasing 1.8 percent and violent crime up by 9.5, according to the data released by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Police Chief Rodney Monroe says "this increase, however, is not because of a lack of effort, lack of enforcement or strategy."
The Chief says robberies, which had an 11.5% increase over 2011, "continue to plague us." CMPD says there were almost 1800 robberies in 2012. Officers made 742 arrests in robbery cases - which is 26% more than 2011.
Chief Monroe says an "alarming" number of those arrested were back out on the streets committing new crimes.
"I'm convinced if we could hold more of these individuals accountable and reduce repeat incidents of these individuals, then we would have a safer community", he says.
The Chief says "we have individuals who are arrested for robbery, released on bond, placed on electronic monitoring and committed additional burglaries. That's unacceptable."
Chief Monroe says he met with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney to discuss the issue of bond, and repeat offenders.
In other crime categories, 52 homicides were reported through December compared to 55 in 2011, resulting in a decrease of 5.5 percent.
Freedom Division, which includes far west Charlotte and the airport, saw the largest reduction in the crime rate. Crime fell 3.5 percent.
194 arson cases were reported compared to 195 in 2011.
Burglaries were down overall by 9.1 percent.
According to Chief Monroe, crime stoppers tip line received more than 2,000 calls last year - historic numbers for the department.
Chief Monroe says "this resulted in 281 arrests, including 5 homicide arrests. We cannot thank the community enough for their continued effort. It's not something we take for granted."
CMPD, as part of the crime fighting strategies for 2013, plans to have a crime center up and running. Chief Monroe says "during the Democratic National Convention we were able to convert our previous command center into a camera room. We were able to install additional cameras and monitors."
The Chief says that technology will become the crime center, and will be monitored around the clock, to focus on major crimes - such as homicides, robberies, serious assaults.
"Where individuals as soon as those come out will start vetting information as it relates to the area, suspects, and video", says Chief Monroe. "Being able to push that information to investigators who will be responding to the scene."