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Wilmington leads state in violent crimes

READ MORE: Wilmington leads state in violent crimes
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Which North Carolina city do you think is most violent? Durham? Charlotte? Would you believe Wilmington? Recent crime numbers released by the FBI say it is.

According to the FBI's preliminary annual crime report, Wilmington tops the list of cities larger than 100,000 people in North Carolina with the most violent crimes per capita.

The FBI says violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, but what do experts think about the numbers? UNCW criminology professor Michael Maume says according to the data, "Wilmington's violent crime rate is higher than rates for other large cities in 2009. However, it is difficult to make comparisons between Wilmington and these other cities. Some cities are characterized more than others by transient populations, who may have a greater chance of involvement in crime (e.g., tourists and other out-of-town visitors)."

Dr. Maume says other factors like poverty, unemployment and a young population can affect the numbers as well.

So the question still remains is Wilmington the most violent city in the state? It depends on who you ask.

"We've seen over 1,700 less (violent) crimes than 2002-2003," Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. "So we've made some pretty good gains, but we do have too much crime. There's no question about it."

Dale Saunders found that out the hard way. He was mugged in Downtown Wilmington a few weeks ago.

"I know a lot of people who have been a victim of crime that have ended up in a lot worse shape than I have physically," Saunders said.

Saunders is now more alert when he's out. Police say their best advice to keep you safe.

"You're not safe in any part of the world if you're not smart," Evangelous said. "You can be in the greatest, safest community, but you still have to be smart."

To be fair the numbers are part of a preliminary report and won't be final until later on this year. The FBI also suggests that no direct comparisons be made to other cities because there are so many factors that make each city different.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Crime in Wilmington

Parents warn your students. I just left my son for his 2nd yr at UNCW on Sunday 8-16 and within 12 hrs. He had been assaulted. He and his friends were stopped at a stop sign when a group of boys threw a bottle at their car. The driver and the front seat passenger stepped out to ask the boys why they did this. The passenger was attacked and choked – my son and the driver pulled the choker off of him and in a split second my son was severely beaten – 18 stitches to his face, black eye, knocked out and suffered a concussion. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance. I have been given the run around by the police since Monday; I have been given several different stories. Today I was told for the first time that 1 citation was issued for simple assault but the police report can’t be found on line?? I’m driving down this week and intend on doing my own investigation since none of my son’s friends who were witnesses were questioned. I am astounded to read about the FBI warning of a 1 in 9 chance of being a victim of a crime and Wilmington rated as the highest in crime.

This town needs a Bronson.

This town is starting to look like Death Wish 3 - yes, the stupid one where a bunch of dorks start roughing everyone up while wearing colorful face paint. This can not be tolerated. Not only is that crime, that's FASHION crime!

What this town needs is a Paul Kersey that will do the job our politicians and police don't have the will to perform.

Get em, Bronson!
And don't get caught. Although, I doubt in this town you could, even if you tried. Everyone gets away with everything here.

I have lived all over North

I have lived all over North Carolina for a total of 56 years. I have lived in Durham, Chapel Hill, Greenville, and the mountains, among other places, and I have never seen the amount of crime I have seen here in Wilmington. Quite disconcerting. And I do not think you can enforce more than traffic laws here.

safe in Wilmington

I feel completely safe in Wilmington and that says a lot for the Whole state and Wilmington if this is supposed to be the lest safe .I an originally from the north east , now thats where you need to always be looking over your shoulder . And every town has its less than desirable areas or higher crime areas . right now we are going through a growth period , and so goes the crime . our law enforcement agency is very conscious of the crime , and over the last several months have made significant progress , especially in the drug bust area , which is the catalyst for 90% of all crimes

thanks

And this is why I'm moving

This town is a rotting cesspool. I will be glad to leave and never look back. Let the trash take over the city and then burn it to the ground.