WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Serious crime is down slightly in the city's public housing units compared to this time last year, but not as much as two news releases claimed Friday afternoon.
The Wilmington Police Department's release claimed crime dropped 70% over a five year period, while the Wilmington Housing Authority sent a release saying crime dropped 74% in one year. However, the accompanying information attached to the release tells a different story.
The statistics from the WPD show 41 part I crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson, from November last year until the end of April. That six month period is significant, because the city and county created a joint housing unit to patrol the area last November. However, during the same six month period last year, there were 48 part one crimes in the public housing developments, which accounts for a roughly 15% drop year to year. Over the five year period, crime is down 51.2%.
When WECT pointed out the error to the WPD, they quickly sent a revised release touting the 51.2% drop. The interim CEO for the Wilmington Housing Authority, Vernice Hamilton, said late Friday that the WHA will correct its new release Monday morning.
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