Despite the soaring homicide rate, there was some good news in the review of the Greensboro Police Department Strategic Plan at the City Council work session last week.

Police Chief Brian James said, “Overall crime right now compared to last year is down by 8 percent.”

James added, “We’ve done a lot of things to try and work on the root cause.”

In the crimes against persons category compared to 2020, forcible rape is down 43 percent, sex offenses are down 69 percent, aggravated assault is down 2 percent and simple assault is down 10 percent.

Although homicides have increased by 100 percent this year compared to last year, aggravated assault with a firearm is down 19 percent.  James said, “We feel like some of the things we are doing are working.”

James noted that property crimes are also trending down. 

James said the city has seen a great reduction in robberies, which are down 40 percent and robberies with a firearm are down 57 percent.

According to the report, burglaries and breaking and enterings are down 13 percent and motor vehicle theft is down 14 percent.

Bribery is down 100 percent but that is because during this period in 2020 there was one case of bribery and there hasn’t been one in 2021.  Evidently, bribery is not a popular crime in Greensboro.

Although having the homicide rate double from 2020, which was a record setting year, is not good news, there is good news on the homicide front.  James said that the clearance rate on those homicides was 69 percent when the national average is 40 percent to 50 percent.

James said that the Police Department was looking at areas where costs could be redirected and noted that in 2020 the police answered over 7,000 alarm calls.  Of those 7,000 alarm calls, 24 turned out to be valid calls and most of the rest were false alarms.