Atlanta police hopes downward trend in crime continues

Atlanta police say crime is up only 3% over this same time last year and they hope to round out the year with a crime reduction.

Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Timothy Peck presented those statistics to the Atlanta City Council Public Safety during a meeting on Monday.

"We were higher a number of weeks ago," Peck told the council. "But what we are seeing is a consistent trend, the numbers are coming down and the goal is for us to be at zero or a crime reduction by the end of the year,"

The deputy chief said violent crime is down month-over-month. From this same time last year, homicides are down 1%, reports of rape are down 17%, and aggravated assaults are down 4%. Robberies also dropped 9%.

However, burglaries saw an 11% increase, theft from motor vehicles is up 8%, and shoplifting is up 15% from this time last year.

The deputy chief said all crime has seen a drop within the past few months.

"It simply means that we have the right people in the right places doing the right things," the deputy chief said. "However, there are always challenges that come up."

One of those challenges is the continued thefts of the Hyundai and Kia thefts, a national trend, which is driving up motor vehicle theft numbers in Atlanta.

Peck said they have seen real progress combating car break-ins, which account for about 40% of all crime in the city. He said the force is focusing on that and violent crimes in battling the overall crime numbers in the city.

"As we continue to put our crime plans, to look at those factors that are driving those crimes because we have to know what's driving it in order to have some sort of change on it," the deputy chief said.

For homicides, the number one issue is disputes escalating into violence. Nearly 38% of all homicides fall into that category. That is nearly three times higher than the next biggest factor, robberies.

Peck called dispute-type homicide a permanent solution for a temporary problem.

The deputy chief also highlighted the department’s targeting career criminals and nightclubs that may become a nuisance, leading to other potential crimes.