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US, local crime on the rise

READ MORE: US, local crime on the rise
WILMINGTON -- The FBI has released its Uniform Crime Reports for 2006. In short form: our population is growing across the region and so is violent crime. The report says robberies increased significantly in Wilmington between 2005 and 2006. Some Wilmington residents had mixed reactions to the numbers. Wilmington resident Marie McDonald said, " It's disturbing." Wilmington resident Norman McCullough said, "I'm not really that concerned about it to tell you the truth." Crime statistics released by the FBI this week show that violent crime in Wilmington has increased between 2005 and 2006. A major part of that increase is due to a dramatic increase in robberies. In 2005 there were 292 robberies in Wilmington. That number increased to 409 in 2006. That's a forty percent overall increase. Wilmington resident Crystal Rouse said, "I had heard that they were trying to increase law enforcement, you know, enforce the laws more... and that's not entirely true." But Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says it is. He says the City Council recently increased the budget for the police department by two million dollars. He says the problem is not with law enforcement officers but the criminal justice system. "It's just not the police department and the sheriff's department arresting these people and putting them back in jail. It's a revolving door policy," Saffo said. Saffo says that when it comes to robbery -- the system is too lenient and needs to be fixed. "It's the process of looking at our overall judicial system and keeping these people in prison longer when they break the law."

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