Crime tumbles in Petersburg

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – Crime takes a significant tumble in Petersburg -- according to new numbers just released by the police department. The report shows an overall 30 percent decrease in crime when comparing 2008 to 2009.

City leaders say community involvement is a big reason for the drop. In 2008 there were more than 650 violent crimes -- in 2009, there were 327.

When it comes to property crimes there were more than 4,700 in 2008. In 2009 there were about 3,400 property crimes. Police hope to continue the downward trend in 2010.

"We want to increase area traffic visibility. We also want to deploy our tactics a little better - that we're more efficient about how we put our manpower out there," said police chief John Dixon.

Carolyn Morriss and Carolyn Edwards live in Petersburg. They call the news good, but say more work needs to be done.

"We've had more break-ins in this area. Not on this block but in our community neighborhood watch block," said Morriss.

The women are part of a community watch group in the Walnut Hill area of the city.

"I do ride around my neighborhood and I keep an eye out for my neighbors," said Edwards.

Police say that kind of vigilance has resulted in a safer city.

"We've had more citizen participation. Citizens within the city of Petersburg are saying enough is enough," said Dixon.

The chief says one specific crime that continues to be a problem is thief from vehicles. He's asking residents to keep personal items in their vehicles out of plain sight.

"Our goal is to eradicate crime all together," said Dixon.

The police chief and other city leaders say they'll continue to push for programs that will help keep citizens safe and move the city forward.

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