Most Memphis Crime Drops; Burglaries Increase


The Memphis area, with one of the nation’s highest crime rates, is showing some improvement. The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that al but three precincts in Memphis showed a drop in violent crime last year compared with 2006, while crime around Shelby County decreased 5.3 percent. Operation Safe Community, an initiative of the Shelby County Crime Commission, released the data this week.

The felony caseload is up 40 percent, Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons said. He attributes part of that to more undercover drug buys. He said home burglaries showed a 12 percent increase in Memphis in 2008 compared with 2007. Gibbons and other leaders are asking state lawmakers to enhance sentences for aggravated burglary, which is a burglary of a house. Gibbons attributed the increase in home burglaries to repeat offenders who are able to cycle through the criminal justice system fast.

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