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Crime & Justice

Crime is down in Charlotte so far this year, police say

Updated Thursday, Oct. 14, 1:13 p.m.

Police say overall crime is down in Charlotte by 4% so far this year compared to the first nine months of 2020. Statistics released Wednesday by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department show violent crime is down 3% in that same time frame.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Police Chief Johnny Jennings said that drop may have something to do with life beginning to return to normal during the pandemic.

“What I can tell you is that as things start to open up, as kids are back in school, as people are going back to work, I think that creates less opportunities of some of these criminal activities that we’ve seen,” Jennings said.

Homicides are down 18% from last year's total of 117. There have been 74 homicides reported by CMPD so far this year.

Some violent crimes did see increases. Reported sexual assaults are up by 17% so far this year and aggravated assaults by 2%.

Jennings says one of the concerning trends is an increase in guns stolen from vehicles. There have been around 700 stolen so far this year. He says officers have seized 2,260 illegal guns this year.

“We do have an issue with guns being out in the street," Jennings said. "We do have an issue with people resorting to guns to deal with violent and criminal acts. That’s one of the things that we have always made at the forefront of what we do in our initiatives to fight violent crime within CMPD.”

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Corrected: October 14, 2021 at 1:14 PM EDT
Charlotte's 2020 homicide count was corrected to 117. The number originally listed in this story is before that figure was revised down when some deaths were ruled justified.