New report shows crime is down in Wilmington
The crime rate in Delaware's largest city has dropped 24 percent according to a statistical report released by Wilmington Police Chief Christine Dunning. One highlighted improvement is that homicides in the city have been cut in half.
The 2013 report covers a six month period from January 8th to June 30th, illustrating that the crime rate has changed when compared to the same period of 2012.
"We are aggressively addressing crime through a coordinated multi-jurisdictional approach that includes law enforcement involvement from local, state and federal levels," said Chief Dunning.
Mayor Dennis Williams attributes the drop to innovative police tactics that he vowed to enforce during his election campaign for mayor. Williams has implemented strong policing plans that called for an increased presence of uniform officers in the community, especially in areas flooded with criminal offenses.
"In six months, the systems are in place and beginning to show results. We are on the right track," said Mayor Williams.
Data which has been maintained by the State of Delaware reveals a drop in three areas that cover all of the major criminal offenses. Statistics show a 12 percent decrease in violent crimes such as murder and rape, while other offenses including assaults and stolen property saw a 28 percent decrease. Lesser crimes dropped by an overall 44 percent.
"Public safety is my top priority, and while there is still plenty of work to do, we are making real progress," said Mayor Williams. "As much as reducing crime in Wilmington is about aggressive policing tactics, it is equally about building up our neighborhoods and creating more opportunities for young people. I am committed to attacking this problem from all angles."
Since February police officers have been reassigned into the Patrol Division and community members have been challenged to cooperate more with the police department. In fact, multiple arrests are the result of residents in the Browntown and West Center City section of Wilmington reporting neighborhood drug activity.
"We are more effective in what we do when have the community working with us," added Dunning.
The Williams Administration has also worked on initiatives to encourage more developers, non-profits, and housing agencies to address vacant housing to deter crime and strengthen neighborhood pride. Additionally, in the effort to improve the city, the mayor has invested in a number of youth programs to keep local teens active and out of trouble.