COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Are you safer tonight than you were 10 years ago? Ask Columbus police and they might say you are, with some numbers to back it up.
Chief Ricky Boren said overall, the amount of serious crime in Columbus has decreased 43 percent over the past 10 years even though certain offenses have shown slight increases.
When asked about what they thought crime trends were like in Columbus...
“It’s trending up because all we see is the bad stuff," said Dominic Medico. "whether it’s on social media, on the TV, the internet, all we see is bad stuff. So all I have to go by is what I see. So, since I see the bad, I think it’s trending up.”
“And I noticed there were some murders recently," Megan Tillis said. "So, I thought that it was up.”
But in reality, the numbers show a different story. Boren presented the facts to the Columbus City Council during a budget session Tuesday. He said overall, serious crimes have decreased 43 percent over the past decade. The biggest reductions in offenses, roughly 60%percent fewer burglaries, a 30 percent decrease in larceny, and a 20 percent drop in robberies.
However, some crimes are slowly on the rise, including rape and murder.
“I mean I’ve got friends out in California, they always ask me how I’m doing in ‘Kill-umbus,'" said Shawn Parks.
In 2018, Boren said there were 63 reported rapes and 30 murders compared to 31 reported rapes and 17 murders in 2012.
“I’m surprised," Medico said. "But I also then question do we have new crimes we’re not tracking. Are we tracking them in other ways or not tracking them in ways we should. My perception could be off, but that’s kind of what I think.”
Boren was not available to answer that question. But his report shows the overall amount of serious crime has gone down consecutively over the past four years.
“That’s impressive," Parks said. "I hope it continues in that trend.. People need to start being nice to each other.”
As for 2019, Boren’s stats only considered the first three months of the year. But numbers showed just over 2,000 crimes considered to be serious by the department of justice.