Like any major city, Atlanta does have its fair share of crime. Most often, it is the high profile crimes that make the news. Such is the case for Georgia’s capital city. A recent report showed that Atlanta saw more homicides in 2016 than it had in a decade, with 111. In fact, it was the first time there were more than 100 homicides since 2008. However, investigating behind the headlines shows a different story.
Since Mayor Kasim Reed took office in 2009, crime rates as a whole are down 27 percent. Burglaries have been cut pretty much in half, with 9,102 in 2009 and 4,377 in 2016. Robberies and aggravated assaults are also down. Professional criminologists say that, while the rise in homicides is disturbing, the decrease in these other crimes is a more accurate depiction of crime trends, since they affect more people.
In fact, when compared to other major cities, Atlanta’s decrease in crime is one of the best. Much of that is attributed to the mayor’s focus on having more police on the street. The rise in homicides, though troubling, is part of a national trend. Cities with more than 250,000 people saw an average increase of 11.3 percent in 2016. In Atlanta, shootings have contributed to a large portion of the increase. Gun crimes are up nearly 50 percent from 2009.
In the battle against crime, one of Atlanta’s biggest struggles is the high turnover within the police force. About 45 percent of officers hired between 2005 and 2013 left the force. As such, the Atlanta Police Department is much more reliant on rookie officers rather than veterans. During that time, Reed said many hired officers saw the force as a stopgap rather than a career during the economic crisis.
Though crime overall is down in Atlanta, it is still a concern for citizens. If you or a loved one were a victim of a crime in Atlanta, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at Rafi Law Firm today for a free consultation.