Violent crimes drop around nation, Richmond numbers remain high

Posted at 8:56 PM, Nov 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-12 22:51:48-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation released crime numbers for 2013, which shows violent crimes dropped nationwide by 4.4 percent.

Experts explain the drop in violent crime by crediting more security cameras and people using cellphones to record video.

In Central Virginia, per the FBI statistics, Richmond was number one for violent crimes.

The city did improve its numbers, which were down 21 in 2013, compared to 2012;  respectively 1,327  compared to 1,348.  The number of homicides were also down between the two years, with 37 in 2013 and 42 homicides in 2012.

rva crime stats

In 2013 in Chesterfield, violent crimes increased minimally between years, and  homicides in Chesterfield county stayed roughly the same as well. One statistic that stands out -- reported rapes in Chesterfield are higher than other counties, but reporting is not consistent each year.

In Henrico, violent crimes rose  in 2013 (586) compared to 2012 (545). The number of reported homicide stayed the same, with one less murder in 2013. Aggravated assaults increased significantly in the county.

Hanover saw an increase in aggravated assault, property crime, larceny theft and arson.

crime state rico and chesterfield
In a city of 200,000 people, some say there's bound to be crime.

"We have to be able to teach our folks how to resolve conflict without resorting to violence," said Charles Willis, the Executive Director of Citizens Against Crime.

"We don't take it lightly," said Willis,  who holds on to the hope that Richmond will be crime-free in the future.

Richmond Police said that some of  homicides reported in 2014 in South Richmond have been the result of conflict, domestic situations, and arguments inside the home.  And the crimes involved multiple victims. Police said some arrests were made and the cases were solved.  They said they are working closely with the community and faith-based leaders to stop the violence.

More than half of the 39 homicides in Richmond have been reported on the Southside.

Willis said he responds to the scene the moment he gets the tragic news.

"We are on the scene sometimes 3, 4, or 5 o'clock in the morning, to help the families get over the tragedy that just took place," said Willis.

Richmond employees the most officers, per capita. According to FBI statistics, and 2013 population estimates, there are approximately 34 officers per 10,000 residents. That's compared to approximately 15 for Chesterfield, 20 for Henrico and six for Hanover (per 10,000 residents).