Updated:ATLANTA, Ga. —
New crime statistics show that murders and burglaries are both up more than 40 percent in neighborhoods in East Atlanta since last year, though police say they’ve seen small improvements in recent months
Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman started looking into what police were doing after neighbors said they were fed up with the crime.
Cathy McGovern says she heard gunshots from her Kirkwood home Sunday night.
“They were pops very closely together, but then we went to the Kirkwood Facebook page and realized they were gunshots,” she said.
A couple who lives in nearby East Atlanta said they may move out.
“We play 'gunshots or fireworks' and if it doesn't get better, we are not planning on staying much longer,” said Whitney Bennett.
Just last week in their neighborhood, Charlese Brooks was gunned down while at a restaurant on Bouldercrest Drive.
Neighbors asked Channel 2 Action News to dig into the crime numbers from Atlanta police. Channel 2 Action News discovered that in Zone 6, which includes east Atlanta, Kirkwood and Grant Park murders are up 67 percent since last year.
Robberies are up 19 percent and burglaries are up 49 percent. Click here to see the latest crime report.
“The majority of these particular cases we are having are crimes against people that are acquaintances,” said Atlanta Police Maj. Timothy Peek, referring specifically to the murders in Zone 6. Peek also added that there have been some improvement in recent months.
Peek says in response, police have upped patrols in neighborhoods, at parks around the Kirkwood area, and have instituted a new patrol policy.
“We’ve given them 10 hours, instead of eight hours to work. Thus, what we’ve been able to do with that is we are having a bunch of overlapping patrols,” Peek said.
“I feel like the mayor has heard us. So, I feel like we are going in the right direction,” Bennett said.
Stockman notes rape and aggravated assault incidents in Zone 6 are down. There are now 10 new officers assigned to the area, and police are continuing their outreach to warn neighbors about what’s going on.
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