Crime in our communities, a real reason for concern

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has been criticized by many for recent spikes in crime in the city of Atlanta. Though crimes have most definitely increased within the city limits of Atlanta, our capital city is not alone in this unfortunate situation.

Based on the 2018 Summary Report Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program Georgia Crime Information Center, both DeKalb and Fulton counties are experiencing concerning spikes in crimes.

During 2018, DeKalb County reported 58,713 crimes per 100,000 residents while Fulton County lagged substantially behind at 46,750 crimes per 100,000 residents. In fact, according to the report, DeKalb County led Fulton in the four most commonly committed crimes of murder, rape, burglary, and aggravated assault.

In 2018, DeKalb County reported 178 murders and Fulton reported 107. In the category of rape, DeKalb reported 452 incidents, compared to Fulton County’s 374. DeKalb reported 4,233 cases of aggravated assault compared to 3,434 cases reported in Fulton. In burglary cases, DeKalb County greatly surpassed Fulton with 8,330 compared to 5,216.

With Atlanta often being in the national and international media spotlight, crime levels are reported more frequently than those in DeKalb County. However, DeKalb County obviously should be just as concerned, if not more so, with criminal activities that occur in our neighborhoods.

According to Insideprison.com, DeKalb County has a murder rate of 11.1 per 100,000 compared to the national average of six per 100,000. DeKalb County also exceeds the national rates in the categories of robbery, assault, burglary, forced entry, larceny, and auto theft. In the categories of auto theft, forced entry, burglary, assault and robbery, DeKalb County’s numbers are more than double those of national statistics.

Clearly DeKalb County and the Atlanta metro region have many reasons for concern regarding safety in our communities. As we attempt to recover from the financial and personal devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and head into the summer months when crime is normally higher than in other times of the year, we must all be mindful that at any moment we could possibly be the next victim of a crime.

As many who have been cooped inside their homes for the better part of a year are beginning to travel again and may be planning on vacations, it is good to be reminded of summer safety tips offered by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC).

Suggestions on how to avoid being a victim of crime include:
• Be aware of what’s a happening in our neighborhoods.
• Lock all doors in the home, including garage doors.
• If leaving home for several days, ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to keep watch on your home and have your mail held at the local post office until you return.
• Place timers on interior and exterior lights to give the impression that someone is in the home.
• Do not post on social media about being away from home until after you have returned.
For additional information on how best to avoid summertime crime, visit ncpc.org/Summer Safety Tips

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