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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Justice says crime is down across the state. According to its annual report, violent crimes fell by more than five percent last year, making the crime rate the lowest since 1977.

There has also been a decrease in those numbers here in Wilmington.

“We’re grateful that we’ve had a decrease,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. “We still have too much crime in the city, and we’re going to continue to work to keep driving those numbers down.”

With 2011 state crime numbers came refreshing stats for the City of Wilmington. According to the annual summary report the city has seen slight decreases in crime.

In 2010 Wilmington Police responded to 6,427 total crimes. Meanwhile the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office saw 5,228.

In 2011 those numbers fell; Wilmington’s to 6,367 and New Hanover’s to 4,896.

Still, Evangelous says the city has far too many property crimes.

“burglary and larceny are our big numbers here, and unfortunately the justice system places the least amount of resources for property crimes, but it affects the largest number of our folks in the entire state,” he said.

The only numbers that increased were murders, both locally and across the state.

“The fact that overall crime is reduced by 0.9%, yes that’s a good thing, but there are other crimes out there that are increasing,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “The murder rate went up. We need to heed these warning signs, because crime could significantly increase if we do not put the investment in law enforcement and technology that’s needed.”

Evangelous says drugs are another of the Port City’s biggest issues.

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