Charlotte Mecklenburg Police with the South Division are crediting a drop in property crimes to great relations with residents.
And they want to continue that trend by encouraging residents to participate in National Night Out Aug. 6.
People who live in the community know whats supposed to be there and whats not supposed to be there, said Capt. Jim Wilson with the South Division. Their eyes and ears are like an extra set of patrol officers driving down the street.
The 57-square-mile division that Wilson oversees is comprised of 144,000 residents and extends south from Fairview Road between Pineville and Matthews.
The 30th annual National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is intended to generate support and participation in local anti-crime programs and strengthen neighborhood relations and partnerships with police.
Each year, organizers pick a day for communities across the country to host block parties or cookouts.
This years South Division National Night Out event will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 6 in the Calvary Church parking lot, 5801 Pineville Matthews Road.
There will be food, kids activities and visits from police and firefighters.
This is a unique opportunity to not only meet your neighbors, but meet your neighboring neighborhood neighbors, said Wilson.
Wilson said that the majority of crimes in South Division are property crimes, specifically larceny from automobiles and residential burglaries.
Both have dropped during the past few years.
From Jan. 1 to July 14, there have been 119 residential burglaries in South Division, compared with 127 for the same period in 2012. Thats a 6.3 percent decrease.
Also through July 14, there were 259 larceny from auto cases in the division, compared with 325 for the same period last year. Thats a 20.3 percent decrease.
Its a trend seen throughout the city.
On July 24, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police announced that the number of violent and property crimes has decreased in the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period a year ago.
Violent crime was down 4.1 percent from January through June last year, and property crime fell 7.1 percent in the same period.
Police have investigated 24 homicides through June, compared to 27 in the first six months of 2012.
The number of assaults has fallen 7 percent this year.
Still, police say the number of rapes has increased 18 percent in the first half of 2013.
South Division ranked No. 1 for crime reduction in the department in 2010. In 2012, the department was ranked No. 2.
Were proud of that, said Wilson. But we credit it to trying innovative things and having a partnership with the community.
Arriero: 704-358-5945; On Twitter: @earriero
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