Crime in Duluth decreased by 6 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, police data shows, a drop Duluth police attribute to community engagement and education.
“Working together through community outreach programs, homeowners associations and social media engagement builds trust,” Chief Randy Belcher said in a press release.
Police calculated the statistic by measuring the number of substantiated reports in seven major categories of crime: Homicide, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
In total, 557 incidents were reported in those seven categories in 2018, down by 20 from 2017’s total of 577 incidents. Violent crime — homicide, rape, robbery and assault — was down by 5 percent, with robberies leading the decrease. Property crime — burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft — was down by three percent.
Homicides handled by the department declined from three in 2017 to zero in 2018, and the number of rape cases rose from three to five. Assaults rose from 109 in 2017 to 113 in 2018, but robberies were down from 16 to seven. These numbers are based on the number of reports for each “legitimate” charge that the department recorded in 2017 and 2018, Officer Ted Sadowski, a spokesman for the department, told the AJC in an interview.
These numbers do not include any crimes that occurred in unincorporated Duluth, which consists of areas with Duluth addresses but lying outside the city limits. Incidents in those areas are handled by the Gwinnett County Police Department, which did not have similar numbers available Wednesday.
The Duluth Police Department attributed the overall crime reduction to increased community engagement and education. Officers have been increasingly working with local homeowners associations and businesses, said Officer Ted Sadowski, a department spokesman.
“We are trying to keep people aware of their surroundings and encouraging them to call and report crimes,” Sadowski said.
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