(WGHP) — The FBI’s annual crime report shows violent crime in 2020 increased, with North Carolina’s violent crime rate exceeding the national average.
Nationally, the number of homicides surged about 30% from 2019.
Triad law enforcement agencies have noted violent crime climbed in 2020. So far in 2021, that trend varies from city to city.
The Greensboro Police Department reports a 2% increase in all violent crimes so far this year compared to 2020. Homicides are down 14%.
In Winston-Salem, violent crimes are down 9.7% with homicides down 4.8%.
High Point police report aggravated assaults, rape and robbery numbers are all down. The only crime surging was the number of homicides.
In 2021, officers responded to 15 homicides in the city, during the same time period last year they responded to seven.
Capt. Patrick O’Toole discussed crime trends in the city, noting that officers are dealing with offenders they have not seen before.
“Some of what we’re seeing are younger offenders. People that have not had prior contact in an adult system, people that have not had a lot of contact with law enforcement,” he said.
He noted that a lot of the violence appears to be targeted.
“A lot of what we’re seeing is as I said, a domestic violence situation, some of it is gang driven, some of it is drug trade driven, so a lot of that develops its own problems,” O’Toole said Tuesday.
The High Point Police Department is very understaffed with more than 30 openings. O’Toole says that hasn’t impacted officers’ ability to clear cases. Only two homicides this year are unsolved.
“We’re stepping up and stepping out and doing our job with less resources,” he said.