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WPD: Violent crime in Wilmington lowest in 10 years

READ MORE: WPD: Violent crime in Wilmington lowest in 10 years

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The crime stats are out, and the numbers show a slightly safer Wilmington. The police department says violent crimes in 2010 were down 10 percent compared to 2009.

The Wilmington Police Department is happy with the numbers that not only show a decrease in violent crimes, but property crimes as well.

"Overall I feel safe," Wilmington resident Stefanie Janson said. "I live downtown, and I always feel that I have to be aware of my surroundings and what's going on around me, but overall I feel fairly safe."

Wilmington Police say the number of violent crimes in 2010 fell 10 percent from the year before. The year just ended saw fewer rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults than the previous year. The murder rate was about the same. In 2010 there were five. That's one more than 2009.

"We still have too much crime," Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. "We can't rest on our laurels."

Evangelous said the department's work in 2010 also brought down the number of property crimes. In each category, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson, the numbers were down eight percent overall compared to 2009.

Chief Evangelous said the recent success is proof that increased manpower and smarter policing is working.

"Police make a difference," he said. "Officers out on the street directing resources, using intelligence-driven policing allows us to have a positive impact out there. We're seeing levels that we just haven't seen since 1998."

That's good news for residents and visitors to the Port City.

"I haven't felt threatened or anything even in the bustle of downtown, so it's not too bad," Wilmington resident Dannie Murcuro said.

The police department says these are peliminary numbers. Chief Evangelous says they are solid with only a few numbers that can possibly shift.

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