Crime down across Charlotte, particularly on city's west side - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Crime down across Charlotte, particularly on the city's west side

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say crime is on the decrease city-wide by 6.7 percent this year.

Property crime is down 6.9 percent, violent crime has dropped 5.3 percent and there have only been eight homicides this year compared to 12 at the same time last year.

But that's only half the story. In some sections of west and north Charlotte crime has plummeted almost 20-percent this year.

Larry Melton first opened his insurance business on Beatties Ford road back in 1988.

[There used to be] prostitution," he recalled. "Drug sales, everyday all day."

 Since then, he's seen a lot of changes over the years..especially once police moved in next door.

"We don't have police that you can't find," said Melton.  It's why he wasn't surprised to hear crime is down significantly in west Charlotte.

From violent crimes to property crimes like car break-ins, police say the number of crimes committed are down by as much as 17 percent in parts of the Westside.

Melton believes visibility goes a long way in curbing crime.

"If people see the police, that's not to say that things won't get broken into, that's not to say people won't sell drugs, those things will happen anyway," he pointed out. "But its a much better situation when they're not happening."

Adreona Sims, who works at the Save-a-lot on Freedom Drive, agreed.

"Especially with me," she said. "I travel on the bus. I'm a female, I'm young. I would want to know that crime is up or down so it secures my safety."

But it's about more than just safety, said Melton. When crime drops on the west side -- it sends a message. One that works to counteract a stigma long held against this area of town.

"It's a stigma that goes with Beatties Ford Road and it's not a good one," he admitted. "I think that police, chief Monroe, and the city are working to change that."

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