Greensboro, N.C. - The city of Greensboro had more than 1300 fewer crime victims in 2012 compared to 2011. Police say community involvement and community watch groups have helped bring those crime numbers down.
Greensboro Police Chief Ken Miller says he's proud of the recent crime numbers. The city had 13,869 crimes last year. The chief says that's the lowest number of crimes the city has seen since 1988.
Overall crime has dropped 9.2 percent. Even as the city's population climbs, the crime rate continues to drop. Typically, when the economy is down, crime goes up. However, the chief says, he thinks he knows why that's not happening here.
"That is, in large part, due to the technology that's available to police and the connections police have and the accountabilities police have in engaging their communities now more than we ever have in the history of policing," Chief Miller said.
The chief spent a lot of time stressing the value of community watch groups. Miller said the city has many active community members and leaders who make his officers' jobs easier.
What's ahead for the department? Chief Miller says they're working on a new mapping system that you'll be able to see online. It will show where all the crimes are happening. Plus, officers will have access to that map in their vehicles and it will help them target trouble areas.
Right now, the number one crime in town is theft from a vehicle. Last, year, it happened twenty-seven hundred times.
"It is a hassle and an inconvenience to bundle everything up and take it into the house. But, sadly, it is a very sensible precaution in Greensboro," Officer Douglas Campbell said.
One local YMCA branch had trouble with break-ins about six months ago. Members were leaving items in their cars in full view. Managers took action, warned all the members through email and talked to them when they came in to exercise. Plus, they added lockers near the front desk for people to store their wallets and valuables. The effort worked -- they haven't had any problems since.
"it's just being open and honest with the members, letting them know that it does happen and they need to be aware of it. It's not a perfect world and it's not necessarily a safe world anymore," YMCA employee Lynn Crawford said.
It sounds obvious, but Greensboro police say it's worth repeating. Don't leave any valuables in your car.
Also, don't stash everything in the trunk. Thieves watch at places like gyms for people to do that. If you're going put something valuable in your trunk, do it before you get to the gym.
Links to Learn About Crime in the Triad
p2c.high-point.net/Summary.aspx (High Point)