Letter: Act now to quell violent crime

CRIME DATA: Letter writer Guy Smith shared a version of this chart, showing all violent crime reported by the Asheville Police Department 2009-19. Image from the FBI’s online Crime Data Explorer

As someone who has dabbled in criminology and who previously lived in a much more violent region (Oakland, Calif.), a warning: The city of Asheville and Buncombe County have about one year to quell their growing violent crime and nascent street gang problem before it becomes self-sustaining and its growth is unstoppable.

— Guy Smith


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Act now to quell violent crime

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Crime is not Congressman Cawthorn’s job here….DUH kw

    EVIL prevails in AVL because evil allows it…

    • kw

      Let me enlighten you about Cawthorn and violent crime…from The Guardian…

      The congressman from North Carolina brandished a gun as he addressed a Macon county Republican event last weekend. “We all need to be storing up some ammunition,” Madison Cawthorn warned the crowd, as he embraced the big lie about the 2020 presidential race and insisted that “we all know it was a stolen election”.

      Then, chillingly, Cawthorn conjured a second civil war being fought over his fraudulent claims. “If our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, then it’s going to lead to one place,” Cawthorn said, “and that’s bloodshed … As much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there’s nothing I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American.”

  2. luther blissett

    The gap between “reported” and “cleared” suggests that APD was most effective at dealing with violent crime during the tenure of Chief Anderson and the first years of Chief Hooper — both of whom faced internal opposition — and since then… not so much. Maybe we need better cops?

  3. shikimo9

    Beware of data out of context, even when it’s accurate.

    In order for this graph to provide meaningful support to the argument that Asheville is a) experiencing a multi-year, statistically abnormal rise in violent crime as compared to cognate cities, and b) has a ticking clock of one year to fix it or else, we would also need to see similar data for those cognate cities, information on changes in reporting violent crime to the FBI, and longitudinal data for said cognate cities across the different crime mitigation strategies employed in those cities. Since the author has also chosen to include clearance rate data, we would in addition need to see some correlative or causative data validation concerning clearance rates and longer-term crime outcomes.

    That would be an interesting study, if anyone knows of one. Short of that, it’s worth noting that a) after decades of declining violent crime, the last five years have seen increases across the board and across the country. Since the beginning of the pandemic and subsequent exacerbation of already-existing socio-economic stratification, poverty-related crime has skyrocketed, also across the board and across the country. Asheville has had higher-than-average crime rates (property and violent) for decades, and for the most part the recent increases have simply maintained that rather distressing status quo.

    Also: this chart ends in 2019 and suggests a 12-month window for meaningful change. It’s now Q3 2021. That graph stops 19 months ago, and to my knowledge the town, warts and all, persists in its status as a nice and relatively safe place to live.

    Let’s address the issues of crime and policing that are front and center with reason and emotional intelligence instead of sharing out-of-context data points as scare tactics.

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