BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We might not be seeing as many blue flashing lights and crime scene tape around Birmingham.
“My initial reaction is that we’re showing progress in what we’re doing,” said Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith.
New data from Birmingham PD shows efforts to stop crime are paying off. The biggest drop is in robberies.
“We saw tremendous change in our robberies,” said Chief Smith. “Down 19 percent."
Birmingham Police provided these numbers with a side by side comparison of crime data for the overall city.
Crime Type YTD 2019 YTD 2018 % Change
Homicide 80 90 -11.1%
Rape 144 154 -6.5%
Robbery 683 850 -19.6%
Aggravated Assaults 2567 2977 -13.8%
Total Violent 3474 4071 -14.7%
Shots Fired 1051 1274 -17.5%
Shooting Victims 301 N/A 0%
Burglary 2135 2424 -11.9%
Auto Theft 1770 1772 -0.1%
Unlawful Breaking & Entering 2111 2216 -4.7%
Theft 5637 6325 -10.9%
Total Property 11653 12737 -8.5%
Total Part I 15127 16808 -10.0%
Police Chief Patrick Smith says putting more officers on the street helps and so does new software putting those resources in the right places. About five months ago, Chief Smith implemented PredPol, which is a predictive policing software.
“Each morning it gives us missions. If you intend to reduce crime in the city in this area, you need to patrol within these boxes,” said Chief Smith, “And this is how much time you need to spend in these areas to reduce crime.”
Chief Smith says the department has also added a high speed chase policy and they are getting more strategic about how they search.
“We want to do our part to make sure we’re doing everything to protect the citizens of this city and they can count on this department to be there when they need them,” said Chief Smith.
Chief Smith says the department will continue to focus on crime reduction and also plans to work with the city on addressing quality of life concerns. Chief Smith says another issue they plan to tackle is traffic safety concerns, including pedestrian fatalities, traffic flow and speeding. He says the department recently order new speed radars.