WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Interim Police Chief Donny Williams presented the 2019 Year End Crime Review to members of the Wilmington City Council on Monday.
While violent crimes like rape and robbery went down, there was a dramatic increase in Shotspotter alerts.
Rape is down 31.1 percent. In 2018, there were 45 rapes reported. That number dropped to 31 in 2019.
Robbery is down 11.4 percent. There were 124 in 2019 compared to 140 in 2018.
Nine people were murdered in 2019. There was no change in the homicide rate between 2018 and 2019, but police say violent crime as a whole decreased 6.1 percent.
Police say they also maintained a 78 percent clearance rate for homicides in 2018 and 2019 — 15 points higher than the national average.
Burglaries decreased by 21.9 percent. There were nearly 950 reported in 2018 compared to 740 in 2019.
Larcenies, motor vehicle theft and arson increased. Arson cases doubled, from nine in 2018 to 18 in 2019. Police say the increase in arson is mainly the result of domestic and personal disputes with damage to personal belongings and not homes or businesses.
Motor vehicle theft went from 192 to 236, a 22 percent increase.
Property crime as a whole decreased by 0.1 percent.
The year saw a dramatic increase in Shotspotter Activations, increasing from 400 in 2018 to 639.
Chief Williams said command staff is working on discovering the root cause of this increase and developing a strategy for decreasing Shotspotter Activations in 2020.
Police say that 113 of those alerts were possible fireworks/firecrackers.