Crime in Jonesboro: Is it on the Rise?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- Anytime a major crime is committed in Jonesboro, it often leads residents to ask if the amount of crime is on the rise in the city.

Jonesboro Police it's not that there's a lot more crime than there used to be, they say the numbers are reflecting the change in the population.

Crime statistics show that from July 2006 to July 2007, crime dropped by 4%.  From July 2007 until July 2008, those numbers rose by 6%.

Captain Lynn Waterworth said if you look at the raw statistics, it's obvious that crime has increased but there is a valid reason for it.

"If you compare those numbers to the growth of the city's population, it's not that the crime per person is going up, it's just that there's more crime because there's more people," said Waterworth.

The crime numbers from this time last year to now aren't that different, however the number of service calls where an officer actually goes out to a physical location is up more than one thousand for the month of July this year versus the same month last year.

"Fighting crime is a never ending battle.  As long as you've got people trying to live on top of each other, you're going to have crimes be committed for one reason or another," said Waterworth.

Captain Waterworth said another aspect of the change in crime is the presence of gangs.

"We have people who consider themselves gang members, who act like gang members, who dress like gang members, and who take actions in the name of a gang," said Waterworth.

She goes on to say that these individuals perpetrate real crimes with real victims.