A grass-roots effort for a safer Atlanta is built on the belief that some of the most vibrant communities are being overrun by violent crime – which the Atlanta Police Department denies. Who's right? The Atlanta Police Department, for the most part, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Communities are not suffering a violent crime wave, based on neighborhood-specific crime statistics obtained through an Open Records Act request. Property crimes, are a different story, and police say they likely are at the root of the heightened anxiety.
In response to a public outcry in specific neighborhoods, the Journal-Constitution examined crime statistics in six patrol areas defined by the Atlanta Police Department. Violent crime dropped in 2008 in half of the six communities examined, and only one saw a noticeable spike. In some neighborhoods, property crimes such as house burglaries and thefts have skyrocketed since 2006. Through interviews with residents, neighborhood groups and police, community fear appears to rise from the collision of two forces: a few high-profile violent crimes and an explosion in brazen home burglaries that leave victims rattled.