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Durham police tout efforts to cut crime in violent part of city

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DURHAM, N.C. -

A targeted effort to address a crime-ridden corner of the city has been effective, the Durham Police said in a news conference Thursday morning.

The Operation Bull's Eye shows decreases in violent gun crime, violent crime and several other quality of life crimes in the last six years.

The initiative focuses on a two-square-mile area in the northeast corner of central Durham.  The police and community partnership uses data-driven approaches to targeting crime, and police say it has resulted in significant reductions in violent.

In 2007, police analyzed "shots fired" calls and violent gun crime over a one-year period and checked addresses of validated gang members in the city.

They discovered that while the Operation Bull's Eye area made up 2 percent of the City's area, it accounted for almost 20 percent of the violent gun crime, "shots fired" calls and validated gang members in the city.

That led to an effort to focus on the area.

According to Durham police:

  • Violent gun crime is down by 46 percent
  • Overall violent crime is down by 39 percent
  • Drug calls (not including those self-initiated by officers) dropped by 42 percent
  • "Sound of shots" calls were down by 53 percent
  • Prostitution calls are down by 61 percent

The head of the East Durham Children's Initiative said it's making a difference in the area.

"We knew we were making change in this community when communities started getting together and decided they wanted to have a voice. They created their own community group and they started having pot lucks," David Reese said. "They started having block parties, which, if you think about East Durham in the past, that was just unimaginable."

Durham police said the area, District 1, has shown a 23 percent reduction in violent crime, a 9 percent reduction in property crime and a reduction in total index crime of 11 percent compared to this time last year.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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