Greenville sees drop in crime
Data compiled by the Greenville Police Department shows that locally crime was down from 2011 to 2012.
The figures released by the GPD on Wednesday show that Part 1 crimes, which include violent and property crimes, were down in four of the seven categories reported. Overall, the City of Greenville saw a nearly 21 percent decrease in Part 1 crimes.
“Part 1 crimes are kind of the litmus test to see if crime is up or down in an area,” Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram said. “These certainly aren’t the only crimes in Greenville, but these are your more serious offenses.”
Vehicle theft decreased by 73 percent in 2012, while burglary dropped 34 percent and theft decreased by 10 percent.
The GPD also investigated fewer rape cases. Just one case was reported in 2012, down from three in 2011.
“Anytime crime is down in any area we’re certainly glad to see that,” Ingram said. “We try to be proactive in preventing crimes from occurring, but we’re happy when we’re able to solve a crime after it occurs. We have a strong investigative unit that works hard to bring criminals to justice.”
The three categories that showed an increase were murder, assault and robbery.
There was one murder investigated in 2012. The GPD closed the case.
There were 20 assault cases and 12 robbery cases in 2012.
Ingram credits the reduction in crime to the hard work of the GPD’s investigation and patrol divisions.
“Our investigators and officers do an outstanding job,” Ingram said. “They’ve solved a lot of cases and made a lot of arrests, which helps get these rogues off the street. If we can get habitual offenders off our streets, it’s going to create a decrease in crime.”
Ingram said the officers placed at both Greenville Middle School and Greenville High School also play an important role in helping reduce the city’s crime rate.
“That’s more of a preventative step,” he said. “They help keep the school safe, but they also mentor these kids and help make sure they are staying on the right path.”
Ingram also pointed out the role Greenville’s citizens play in battling crime.
“We can’t overlook how important our citizens’ involvement is,” Ingram said. “We’ve worked to establish relationships throughout the community and let people know that can have confidence in us to do all we can to help bring criminals to justice, and that’s paid off. We need our citizens to help us by reporting crimes or suspicious activity, which in a lot of cases helps us prevent a crime from happening in the first place. A lot of times they don’t know if they should call because it might not be anything. We want them to call us no matter what. If it turns out not to be anything that’s great. We’d rather them call and it be nothing than not to call and it turns out to be something.”
While the overall crime rate dropped, Ingram acknowledge that there is still plenty of work to be done.
“These numbers are good news, but they probably don’t sound too good to a victim of an unsolved crime,” he said. “There are some crimes out there that we haven’t been able to solve yet, but we’re working on them, and we have a bunch of guys that work real hard and do their best to solve every crime that happens in our city. If a crime is unsolved, it’s certainly not for lack of trying, but we know we still have a lot of work to do.”