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CMPD release crime statistics for first half of year, violent crime up 5 percent

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department gave some good news Wednesday after the crime rate in the city.

Overall, crime in the city is down 6 percent this year compared to the first six months of 2020.

But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still issues in the city.

Violent crime is up by 5 percent.

However, police and community leaders say there are still six months left of 2021 and they hope the numbers improve before the end of the year.

But most importantly, they hope fewer families are affected by violent crime.

“These are loved ones, those are sons, those are daughters, those are grandchildren, nieces, nephews that are no longer here with us,” said community leader Lucille Puckett.

Puckett is known for her work in the community, working with homicide victim’s families.

She’s known for her bright red shirt and hair.

Now, there’s something new she’s wearing that’s even harder to ignore, the faces of recent murder victims in the city.

“They look at numbers. If you looking at my shirt, we’re looking at lives stolen,” said Puckett.

Violent crime in Charlotte is up by 5 percent compared to the first six months of 2020.

Police say they track these statistics closely, but realize these numbers represent people and their families.

“As we talk about the numbers, you have to understand there are real people, they’re brothers, sons, daughters. The best way to talk about it is through the numbers, but there are humans behind it,” said CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings.

Aggravated assaults are up 13 percent.

CMPD says more than 500 guns were stolen -- that’s up 66 percent, but overall crime is down, along with property crimes.

Chief Jennings says he’s optimistic about the rest of the year.

“I think we are starting to see some normalcy back to society,” Jennings said. “I think we’re seeing our officers much more comfortable in dealing with the issues and crime that we’re seeing. I think we’re working well with the community.”

But Puckett fears back to normal could mean higher numbers, meaning more loved ones lost.

“We were at a record number of homicides when things weren’t quote on quote normal. People should have been social distancing. People should have been in their homes,” she said. “If those record number of homicides can happen when things weren’t normal. Think for yourself.”

Chief Jennings says that although overall crime is down, it is not time to celebrate. Instead, it’s time for CMPD to continue doing the work they’ve been doing.

Here’s a full list of CMPD statistics given to WBTV News on Wednesday:

  • Overall crime was down 6% from last year.
  • Property crime was down 9% from last year.
  • There were 904 residential burglaries, which is a decrease of 21% from last year’s 1,140.
  • There were 782 commercial burglaries, which is a decrease of 26% from last year’s 1,059.
  • There were 10,955 larcenies, which is a decrease of 7% from last year’s 11,876. 4,843 of these larcenies were from motor vehicles, which is an increase of 5% from last year’s 4,619.
  • There were 1,374 vehicle thefts, which is an increase of 11% from last year’s 1,244.
  • An important and alarming trend to note is the rate at which firearms are being stolen during the course of vehicle thefts and break-ins. There have been 554 firearms stolen during the course of these crimes, which is 66% more than last year’s 334. When these firearms are stolen, it is inevitable that some of them will be used to commit violent crimes, and we as a community owe it to each-other to ensure all firearms are properly stored and secured from unauthorized access.
  • Violent crime was up 5% from last year.
  • There were 50 homicides, which is a decrease of 2% from last year’s 51.
  • There were 155 sexual assaults, which is an increase of 42% from last year’s 109.
  • There were 698 robberies, which is a decrease of 22% from last year’s 892. 466 of these robberies involved the use of a weapon, which is a decrease of 19% from last year’s 572.
  • There were 2,818 aggravated assaults, which is an increase of 13% from last year’s 2,499.
  • Chief Jennings noted some of the diligent and incredible work by CMPD’s employees so far this year, which has also been noticed by many of the community members who have commended 99 of our officers for their work.
  • The Communications Division has answered 457,726 emergency calls to 911, and another 1,264 texts to 911.
  • The Patrol Divisions have responded to 178,438 calls for service from the community and have initiated an additional 82,101 proactive calls.
  • 1,530 of the 6,750 arrests CMPD officers have made have involved violent crime charges, and officers have seized more than 1,481 illegal firearms.
  • Detectives with the Crime Gun Suppression Team have played a significant role in addressing violent crime. They have arrested 89 violent offenders for a range of violent and repeat offenses and seized 67 illegal firearms.
  • The past several years, detectives have cleared an average of 80% of homicide cases. So far this year, 56% of their cases have been cleared, and this clearance rate continues to trend upward.
  • Armed Robbery Unit detectives have cleared almost 60% of their assigned cases, which is almost double the national average of 30%. This unit’s partnerships with the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has played a pivotal role in holding suspects responsible for their involvement in repeat armed robberies. 11 suspects have been sentenced to prison time ranging from six to 24 years, 17 suspects have plead guilty, and 15 other suspects have been indicted and are awaiting trial. This undoubtedly has played a significant role in the decline of robberies in Charlotte.
  • The community has also played a significant role in helping CMPD officers solve cases, and the CMPD wants to encourage the community to continue using Crime Stoppers, which has been proving tremendously successful.
  • 1,787 people have reached out to Crime Stoppers to provide anonymous information about crime.
  • 91 of these tips helped officers clear 185 cases and seize 53 illegal weapons.
  • Information left with Crime Stoppers (both at 704-334-1600 and http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/) is completely anonymous. The tipster does not have to leave a name, contact information, or even appear in court to testify.
  • They may also be eligible for a monetary reward. Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest in any crime is eligible for up to a $1,000 reward. If it is a homicide, that reward is up to $5,000.

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