Raleigh police chief says murders and aggravated assaults are up – especially around nightclubs, bars

Wake County News

RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Murders, gun confiscations, car thefts and aggravated assaults are on the rise in Raleigh.

Police Chief Estella Patterson said she wants to be proactive about addressing rising crime, especially surrounding the city’s nightlife.

Over the past three months, the Raleigh Police Department reported a 33 percent increase in murders compared to the same time frame last year.

From July to September, there have been 12 murders, up from nine in the same time last year, and four during the third quarter of 2019.

Police have arrested suspects in 11 of the 12 recent murders.

“We are intent in coming after you if you commit violent crime in our city,” Patterson said.

Nightclubs and bars have been hotspots for increased violence in the city.

Last month, three separate shootings at Raleigh nightclubs and bars left four people shot, and two dead.

Field Operations Commander Rico Boyce said they are increasing patrols at bars and nightclubs with persistent issues.

“We’ve reallocated some resources to those locations to try and be proactive and stop individuals from, that may be in possession of an illegal firearm before they even get to that location,” Boyce said.

The department also reported 284 aggravated assaults from July through September. A little less than half of those involved guns.

Raleigh police officers also confiscated 32 percent more firearms in the third quarter of this year compared to last.

“We are getting guns off the street but we know there’s a lot more out there that are being processed illegally,” Patterson said. “I think really it is a continuation of what we faced last year and if we’re not in front of it, if we’re not proactive enough I think it’s going to continue to increase.”

While the department said they are increasing patrols around high crime areas, they are still short by 100 officers.

“Everybody is experiencing shortages to include the police department,” Patterson said. “That’s why we look for force multipliers, I talked about cameras, that is a way to help us, to have extra eyes out.”

Patterson said she is focused on working with schools, youth programs and organizations to try and stop young adults and kids from getting involved in crime early on.

“If you are a non-profit, faith-based group or a business that is working to provide alternatives for youth to violence, we ask that you reach out to us,” Patterson said. “We want to partner with you.”

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