Crime & Courts

CMPD: Property crime increased in 2014, while violent crime dropped

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigated slightly more crimes in 2014 than they did the year before, although they noted that violent crime continued to drop.

Total reported crime increased 0.4 percent. Violent crime was down by 0.6 percent compared with the same time last year. Property crime was up 0.6 percent in 2014 compared with the year before.

CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe said the drop in violent crime amounted to approximately 1,000 fewer victims of the most serious crimes.

Monroe made the announcement at the Independence Division headquarters, where he commended officers because crime dropped more there than in any other division.

CRIMES THAT DROPPED: The most dramatic change was in the number of homicides. Police investigated 42 killings in 2014, the lowest number since they began keeping statistics in 1977. It was a nearly 21 percent decline over the previous year.

Other decreases:

• Robberies dropped 12.4 percent.

• Rapes dropped 1.9 percent.

• Arsons dropped 23.5 percent.

CRIMES THAT INCREASED: Aggravated assaults – a stronger form of assault, usually involving a weapon – increased 7 percent.

Other increases:

• Officers saw a 3.5 percent increase in thefts, including a 3.3 percent rise in thefts from autos, Charlotte’s most prevalent crime.

• Burglaries were down overall, but police saw a 19.2 percent increase in commercial burglaries.

WHY LESS VIOLENT CRIME? Charlotte-Mecklenburg police cited a number of factors:

• Better use of technology to investigate violent crimes, sometimes as they are in progress.

• An increased effort to target repeat offenders.

• More help from the community, which called in 23,000 Crime Stoppers tips.

“I commend you for the help that you’ve provided, and I encourage you to keep being involved,” Monroe told members of the community at the ceremony.