INTERVIEW: Indicators in the murder rate statistics in Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- Forty one people were murdered in Richmond in 2009. Already in 2010, another 14 people lost their lives to violence.

One local news website is tracking the crimes and it's done an analysis of how it's impacting the community. Ross Catrow runs He's been compiling the data.

He joined NBC12 via Skype to talk more about this analysis.

RYAN: First, Ross, tell us why did you decide to put this information together to begin with?

ROSS: I think it's a very public indicator of the safety of our city. I don't think it's by any means an incredibly accurate one, but it is at least an indicator of the general safety over time. I think it's a number that people want to know and it's data that people want to find.

RYAN: It's not just the physical number that you've looked into. You looked at different parts of the community, which areas saw more violence, which times of the year saw more violence. What did you find to be particularly interesting from what you found?

ROSS: We did this last year. Year end numbers. We're kind of progressively tracking it this year. One of the interesting things is people always say there's more violent crime as it gets warmer. Last year, we saw in April it was the most violent month in terms of homicides which -- I think last April was a little bit colder than our April this year. But so that was kind of interesting to dispel that rumor I guess. Just last year Church Hill, the east end, had a very, very safe low homicide count. Typically it's known as the more dangerous neighborhood. That wasn't true last year at all.

RYAN: Ross, as you mentioned, you looked back at data for 2009. Now you're being a bit more aggressive and staying on top of it for 2010 and on, you've got marks on a map to show where the homicides are taking place and the people's names. What do you think people can use this information for?

ROSS: You know, I think, like I said, indicators of safety of your neighborhoods. I think it would be great if people took it and kind of went to their sector, the police sector or their police district and got involved in helping to prevent violent crimes. Just kind of being more aware of what's going on in your neighborhood and what's going on in the city.

RYAN: Have you seen that there's a lot of interest, are you seeing hits to this portion of your webb site after posting this information?

ROSS: Definitely. We posted it to our Twitter also and it's not very exciting, happy news, but there are a lot of retweets and a lot of replies and comments and that kind of thing on twitter too.

RYAN: You can follow this discussion on Twitter. Ross, thank you for joining us. We'll have you back on again soon.

ROSS: No problem.

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