MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Police released the crime numbers for the first half of the year on Tuesday, August 6.
The statistics show violent crime is down 12.2%, but Public Safety Director James Barber says people think crime in Mobile is going up.
Taking a look at crime in Mobile from 2009, to 2019, overall, the numbers are going down. Public Safety Director Barber said, “It’s much like watching the stock market, when you go up one day and you’re down the next day, and you really want to see over time that the stock market is increasing in value.”
Looking at the first half of last year compared to this year, you see one number in particular is up. In the first half of 2018, Mobile saw 15 homicides. In the first half of 2019 Mobile saw 24 homicides. To give that some context, the city had a total of 28 homicides in all of 2018.
Public Safety Director James Barber “You can have a lot of activity in the first six months, and not as much in the second…Even though we’re showing decreases, double digit in many of the categories, the citizen’s perception, or the average person’s perception of crime is increasing.”
Public Safety Director Barber says access to information is one reason why people think there’s more crime. He said, “We are seeing crime in areas that we did not see before and so the people that live in these areas that know that their neighborhoods were sleepy at one point, but now they’re seeing violent crime, and so to them it’s absolutely up.”
He added, national crime also impacts how people feel here. He said, “Well what happened in El Paso, Texas, what happened in Dayton, Ohio, it gives everybody a sense that is out of control, violent crime is going up everywhere.”
Public Safety Director Barber said police use crime data to help stay aware of hot spots of crime throughout the city.