(SAVANNAH) It appears Savannah is not as safe as it was in a year-to-date comparison to last year and it’s even less when you compare violent crimes to the same time period just two years ago. That’s based on the crime statistics provided by the Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department. The stat that jumps off the page: violent crimes are up by nearly twenty percent compared to the same time period in 2015. That percentage nearly doubles to 40 percent when you compare the figures to 2014.
Violent crimes are broken down into seven categories on the SCMPD webpage and includes homicide, rape, commercial robbery, street robbery, residential robbery, and aggravated assault, with and without a gun. There are ten more murders year-to-date, with increases in every virtually every category except rape which remains the same at 34 and residential robberies. Those crimes dropped from 32 in 2015 to 30 this year. The amount of reported gunfire in Savannah is also higher. ShotSpotter reveals an increase of more than 250 calls for shots fired than was reported last year.
The top five neighborhoods for gunfire in Savannah are the States streets area, Waters Avenue corridor, President Street to Alaska Street, Cuyler-Brownsville/Cann Park and the Metro-Thomasville area. The top ten crimes of the year in terms of volume involve thievery in one form or another. Theft from a vehicle is the most common crime, with 1,155 cases reported since this year started. Only 3 violent crimes make the top ten so far; they are street robbery and aggravated assault both with and without a gun.
WSAV crime expert, retired police Major, Gerry Long says it’s impossible to prevent most violent crimes, but you can reduce your risk with two words: situational awareness. “Street robberies in particular, that you want to practice safe behaviors, be aware of what’s happening around you and the best defense is to avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas.” Long said. A bright spot in the latest crime trends report from SCMPD, the number of total crimes reported is down by more than 320 when you look at the first 8 months of 2016. So far, police report 5,673 crimes. Last year at this point on the calendar, there were 5,994.