TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa police are breaking down recently released crime statistics.
In 2018, police saw decreases in homicides and sexual assaults in Tuscaloosa which is good news. But overall violent crimes were up last year due to more aggravated assaults, attempted murder and shooting into cars while people are inside.
Police Chief Steve Anderson says unlocked cars being broken into with guns that were left inside also contributed to the high violent crime statistics.
Anderson said more than 70 percent of the car break-ins last year were unlocked vehicles and more than 200 guns were stolen from many of them. The city is planning to launch a campaign against gun violence sometime this year.
“We have crime in every corner in every part of the city of Tuscaloosa so just because you may live in side of the city or another doesn’t mean you’re immune to crime. We need you still take precaution to keep you from being a victim of crime to help us deter crime by doing basic things like locking your vehicle,” said Anderson.
The city is planning to launch a campaign against gun violence sometime this year. Leaders have collaborated with law enforcement to help make sure it’s successful. For example using, positive images displayed on billboards, social media, TV and even radio are ideas the city is considering. Councilor Ravean Howard who’s leading the campaign said they’ve interviewed local law enforcement agencies to see who and where gun violence continues to be a problem to better help experts specializing in media campaigns form a solid plan.
Anderson said the more heads combined together to help combat crime the better. “Crime is everybody’s problem, and everybody should be concerned about the crimes that are going on in our community. So, anything that we can do, any ideas that people have. I’m very much opened to sitting down and look at those things and figuring out strategies that can implement change that can create positive outcomes,” said Anderson.
Anderson also said many of the crimes committed last year involve young teen boys, Something he said is hopefully addressed in the anti-gun violence campaign.