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yoga

Durham crime stats

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Are there any stats available to compare crime in Durham with Raleigh, primarily, but also the rest of RTP, or even Charlotte? What about regionally throughout the mid Atlantic?

I can't tell if crime there is actually any worse than in parts of Raleigh, or Charlotte or the Triad (Greensboro/High Point etc), or if it's distorted by the news. At least two of my friends lived in Durham for a year or two but said they opted for Raleigh because of the higher crime rate in Durham. I also have friends who live there and love it, and say as long as the iffy parts are avoided it's perfectly safe.

Seems like the last month, and even over the summer has been pretty active crime wise over there, with the elderly man killed in his home, the mall stabbing last night, and other various kidnappings and gang related troubles. Then again, there's plenty of it reported here in Raleigh too, like the masked ATM robber, and the pregnant woman stabbed behind the Circus restaurant, was it?

So does Durham really have a bigger crime problem or is it just another US city with the usual assortment of social ills?

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The SBI publishes an annual report, broken down by county, of crime stats, with rates per 100,000 people of various specific crimes, and all aggregate violent crimes (http://sbi2.jus.state.nc.us/crp/public/Default.htm). There may be other things online as well; this site includes detailed info, and there's an index of what specific agencies report (for example, one incorporated municipality in Alamance County - Haw River - didn't report their data). It's not the most user-friendly site, but the info looks to be accurate. Not broken down by neighborhood or census block or anything like that however, so there are limitations as well.

As for you other comments, Durham has obvious issues in places, but so does everyone. I wouldn't want to sweep anything under the rug, but I think the media sometimes should be followed up by other invesigation, to seperate out facts from hysteria. There's a touch of a Mayberry fantasy in some crime reporting; a bit of research is always good.

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Okay I'll put it like this. Durham has a higher crime "rate" than Raleigh, because it's a little over a third smaller. However, Raleigh has higher crime numerically than Durham.

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I think something that is usually missing from the reports and statistics is who the crime is being committed to. Usually, if you pay attention to the specific crime coming out of Durham, you'd notice it's very targeted to specific people by specific people. (Usually one gang against another or a pissed-off person in the slum parts against someone who's done them wrong.)

That's why I never feel any less-safe in Durham than Raleigh or anywhere else. Random crime there, I don't think, is any higher. When you avoid the bad areas, as an "bystander", you're probably no more likely to be a victim of random violence than any other similar-sized city.

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Raleigh had almost twice as many murders than Durham last year, and no one mentions that! There was a murder yesterday on Garner Road in Raleigh. I hate the misleading press Durham has gotten.

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Am I missing something from this report? It says in 05 there were 35 murders in Durham, compared to 19 in Raleigh and 06 there were 14 in Durham to Raleigh's 19. This is obviously good for Durham, but you can see where the 'reputation' comes from when you have 35 murders in one year - even if they did go down by a significant percentage the next year, you don't just shake off an image like that over night.

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Am I missing something from this report? It says in 05 there were 35 murders in Durham, compared to 19 in Raleigh and 06 there were 14 in Durham to Raleigh's 19. This is obviously good for Durham, but you can see where the 'reputation' comes from when you have 35 murders in one year - even if they did go down by a significant percentage the next year, you don't just shake off an image like that over night.

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Raw numbers of murders are meaningless. All those stats should be given in per capita ratios.

Comparing numbers of murders in Raleigh or Durham or Charlotte is pointless without weighting for population.

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I also think its pointless unless you put it on a map....GIS baby!

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Where are our Durham posters on this? :dunno: This would be something they can better fill us in on. (Heck, many of them haven't posted much at all in the past few months...hope all the Raleigh talk lately hasn't turned them off to urbanplanet.)

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Raw numbers of murders are meaningless. All those stats should be given in per capita ratios.

Comparing numbers of murders in Raleigh or Durham or Charlotte is pointless without weighting for population.

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^ I believe that. Well, that, and that there are always undercurrents and sub-societies (criminal and non-criminal alike) wherever there are people.

To me, Durham and Raleigh are two different animals, not just WRT crime, but also in terms of how each regard the arts and other cultural things. The crime thing was on my mind because of the news that day, and I do think it's everywhere in basically equal amounts. The media makes it hard to tell that sometimes.

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I live in an "iffy" part of Raleigh and I love it. However, now that the windows are open I am hearing a lot of what I can only assume has been happening all along. Anyone know of a site where you can research police calls or crimes that might not make the news? Thanks!

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Sunday's murder on Garner Road in Raleigh was the 16th in the city this year (4th paragraph). The weekend's events in Durham put its homicide count to 20 this year (20th paragraph).

Why is the number of murders more important in the Raleigh story than the Durham story? If anything, that shows a "media bias" against Raleigh. Why didn't anyone report that Raleigh had twice as many murders as Durham last year? Because it didn't happen.

While there are some shady areas that have gotten worse in Raleigh, there are several areas that were shady but have gotten better -- Boylan Heights, the Five Points area approaching Wake Forest Road and Capitol Blvd, Halifax Court/Mordecai/Woodcrest, and even the neighborhood just east of Oakwood and downtown. The CHOICES program (formerly the Bragg Street initative/High Point program) appears to have reduced crime in that area by a third or half.

If there were homicides at Crabtree, Cary Town Center, or Triangle Town Center, there would be just as much, if not more, news coverage than that of the Northgate stabbing. The ATM attacks earlier this year are proof of that.

Fair or not, people like to think shopping malls are safe areas, but this was the second murder in three years at Northgate. Putting up "weapons aren't allowed" signs at the entrances is not keeping weapons out.

To me, the biggest "manipulation" of crime stats is that District 24 covers a lot of area *and* has a long standing history of crime. It has more staff, but the staffing per square mile is not signifcantly more than the other districts. Some people will argue that the low amount of crime in the downtown district (25) is due to its small size. That may be true, but it does cover the central business district area, which is its purpose.

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Saw this today on BullCityRising's blog that made me think of this thread: http://www.bullcityrising.com/2007/10/durham-and-crim.html

The part I found interesting is that comparing Durham to Cary, Chapel Hill or even Raleigh just doesn't make sense given the demographics. (And it's not just crime stats...school test scores for Durham County, if adjusted for race and socioeconomic status, are as good as Wake's.)

So comparing it to cities with closer socioeconomic demographics, like Greensboro or Winston-Salem, make more sense.

I have to say, in the 12+ years I've lived in Raleigh, every time I hear someone say something negative about Durham, particularly about crime and what not, my answer has always been: "Please...I grew up in Winston-Salem. Durham's nothing I can't handle." :P

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Thanks for pointing that out, RaleighRob. I highly recommend reading that column.

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