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Crime is goin’ down, down, down…

There’s good news from the Greenville Police Department: crime stats are showing improvement in the Camellia City.

A comparison of crime cas46 from 2008 versus 2009 shows a five percent drop, with the total number of cases in 2008 at 415 (245 closed), and a total of 394 cases in 2009 (246 closed).

The statistics include both Part 1 Crimes (theft, assault, burglary, murder, arson, rape, vehicle theft and robbery, and Part 2 Crimes (breaking and entering vehicles, possession of a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, criminal mischief, forgery and possession, ID theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, counterfeit, and sex crimes).

“Part 1 Crimes are those tracked by the FBI to determine national crime statistics and their increases and decreases; Part 2 Crimes are not generally considered as major as Part 1,” GPD Chief Lonzo Ingram said.

Ingram attributes the drop in crime to three things: stringent efforts in drug enforcement; removal of sub-standard housing that becomes a hot spot for drug sales and use, and extensive community support.

“We work really hard to make those drug arrests, get these people sent to the penitentiary and out of our community,” Ingram said.

“Being able to get rid of some of those dilapidated houses has been a big help in limiting the places for drug activity to take place. And we couldn’t accomplish a lot of what we do without the support of our citizens.”

Ingram encourages citizens who see or hear of suspect activity not to be afraid to contact the police.

“Sometimes people hesitate because they think what they’ve heard may not have anything to it – and there may very well be something to it,” the chief said.

“That being said, we do have tremendous community support and we appreciate our citizens for that support.”