CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Overall crime in North Carolina’s largest city dropped by 5% in 2021, and police say there were declines in several major categories including violent crime and homicides.
The end-of-year crime statistics released Monday evening by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department say there were 7,554 violent crimes reported in Charlotte in 2021, compared to 8,090 in 2020. There were 98 homicides last year compared to 118 in 2020, the statistics said.
Also, the report showed rape was up 19%, vehicle thefts were up 5% and vehicle break-ins were up 4% last year. Police said the majority of the sex assault increase was due to cases involving a non-stranger.
With gun-related crimes on the rise, CMPD said it consolidated three units to roll out its crime gun suppression team, which was responsible for 162 arrests, 155 firearms seized, and 23 stolen firearms recovered in 2021. With help from the team, police said they took 2,999 guns off the streets, a 33% increase from 2020.
As far as the department itself, CMPD said recruitment of new officers remains a top priority as it faces increasing numbers of retirements. Last year, a recruitment campaign led to 2,346 applications which resulted in 135 hires, the department said.